The US and Kenya signed a joint defense deal targeting regional peace and security during a ceremony in Nairobi.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Kenyan Defense Minister Aden Bare Duale signed the five-year plan for defense cooperation earlier this week.
The treaty underscores the US role in assisting Kenya with its fight against al-Shabaab, an armed Islamist group affiliated with al-Qaeda.
Partnering Against Terrorism
Duale highlighted the importance of the agreement in quelling al-Shabaab’s attacks in the country.
“This cooperation will enable us to respond effectively to the ever-evolving security challenges in our region,” he said.
Al-Shabaab has launched high-profile attacks in Kenya since 2013. In 2019, the terrorist group was responsible for the murder of 21 people in Nairobi, one of which was a US citizen.
Kenya’s Brave Stance
During the ceremony, Austin also thanked the Kenyan government for volunteering to help fight gang violence in Haiti.
In July, Kenya signaled its willingness to lead a multinational force to restore calm to the country, promising to deploy 1,000 peacekeepers.
The appeal was endorsed at the UN Security Council by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who said that they would supply financial and logistical assistance for the effort.