US donates Bastion APCs to Kenya for border surveillance

The United States has given 12 Bastion Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to the Kenyan Defence Forces to help the country improve border surveillance. The APCs are set to support KDF’s efforts in the fight against extremists, including the use of Improvised Explosive Devices along the porous border between Kenya and war-torn Somalia.

United States has given 12 Bastion Armoured Personnel Carriers APCs to Kenya Defence Forces 925 001
Donation ceremony of the twelve Bastion APCs to the Kenyan Defence Forces by the USA (Picture source: Twitter account of US embassy in Kenya)

US Defence Attaché and Senior Defence Official Colonel Kevin Balisky says defeating the threat of IEDs is a critical component of denying violent extremists freedom of movement. The United States is currently providing a three-week train-the-trainer course for Kenya Army operators and maintainers of the Bastion APCs. “These vehicles represent the unwavering US commitment to Kenya and our shared national security interests,” Colonel Balisky said.

Kenya has lost tens of her security personnel to IED attacks by the Somalia based Al-Shabaab militants. Since 2007, Al Shabaab has fought to overthrow successive internationally-backed governments in Mogadishu. The militants began attacking Kenya in 2011 after Nairobi ordered its troops into Somalia to fight the militants where they are part of a 22,000-strong African Union mission to Somalia (AMISOM). It is in 2011 that the Al-Qaeda affiliated group was pushed out of Mogadishu, the Somali capital and subsequently from other key towns including the port city of Kismayu.