The United States has committed $100 million (equivalent to Ksh.14.7 billion) to support Kenya’s mission in Haiti, where Nairobi has agreed to send 1000 police officers to assist in restoring security in Haiti. During a meeting between Defense Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale and his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, it was emphasized that the relationship between Washington and Nairobi extends beyond military matters. They signed a five-year defense cooperation framework at the Department of Defense Headquarters.
U.S. President Joe Biden praised Kenya’s multinational security support mission in Haiti during the recent UN General Assembly in New York, and this was a key topic of discussion during their meeting at Ulinzi House. Austin expressed the United States’ commitment to Kenya in promoting stability in the region and beyond, while Duale highlighted the framework as a symbol of their shared vision for the future, driven by a common purpose.
The strengthening of defense relations between the United States and Kenya is expected to bolster counter-terrorism efforts and promote stability in the Horn of Africa and other regions. Concerns about the potential resurgence of al-Shabaab and a Taliban-like takeover of Mogadishu as the African Union Mission’s tenure in Somalia ends were addressed, with Austin expressing confidence in maintaining momentum and cooperation from countries in the region. Duale emphasized their collaboration with the U.S. in East Africa and the Great Lakes Region, which includes their involvement in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Somalia.
The framework places particular emphasis on U.S.-Kenya military relations in an ever-changing world marked by superpower competition and trade conflicts. Austin, who later met with President William Ruto at State House, is concluding his visit to Africa with a stop in Angola.