President Ruto of Kenya Issues a Warning on Terrorism Amid ATMIS Withdrawal from Somalia

The President of Kenya, William Ruto, expressed concern over potential terrorism after the African Union Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) withdrew. While in the United States, Ruto called for American support to prevent security issues in the region.

Ruto stated that the withdrawal of ATMIS troops based on a predetermined timeline, rather than actual security conditions, could lead to a resurgence of terrorism in Somalia. Both Ruto and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud are worried about the upcoming security vacuum.

Kenya has taken on the security challenges in the Horn of Africa. Ruto mentioned a recent meeting with the President of Somalia before his visit to the U.S. They discussed serious security threats due to the planned ATMIS drawdown, not based on current conditions.

The withdrawal has stirred controversy. On May 5, the Somali government asked the United Nations to speed up the end of the peacekeeping mission, surprising the international community. In response, Kenya’s Defence Secretary and the U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa met to talk about post-ATMIS security arrangements in Somalia.

During Ruto’s visit to the U.S., discussions also covered global security and economic issues. President Joe Biden appreciated Kenya’s support in sending police forces to Haiti, backed by a $300 million U.S. contribution to a multinational force.

This visit marked the first time an African leader visited the U.S. since 2008, revealing the strong partnership between the two countries. Biden plans to classify Kenya as a major non-NATO ally, highlighting the increased security cooperation between Kenya and the U.S.

Ruto’s decision to involve Kenyan forces in international conflicts has faced criticism at home. Some argue that Kenya should focus on its own challenges. Legal issues have arisen, questioning the constitutional validity of deploying Kenyan forces abroad without proper agreements.

Despite these obstacles, Ruto believes that global peace and security are everyone’s responsibility. He emphasized Kenya’s commitment to contributing to global peace and justice, as demonstrated by their actions in Haiti and beyond.

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