General Mwathethe to launch book

Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe. PHOTO/COURTESY

Outgoing Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) chief General Samsom Mwathethe will launch a book calling on use of soft power to defeat Al-Shabaab in his last official act as Chief of Defence Forces.

The book titled War for Peace Kenya’s Military in the African Mission in Somalia, 2012-2020 takes a long view of the past, present and future of the Kenyan troops in Africa’s trail-brazing response to violent extremism in the wider context of the rapidly changing geopolitical environment in the Horn.”

The publication will be launched Friday morning at a function which will be held at the Department of Defence Headquarters in which the outgoing General will officially hand over to the incoming CDF General Robert Kibochi.

After launching the book, General Mwathethe will be “pulled out” riding in a ceremonial Land Rover being pulled by military officers of the rank of Brigadier and above- a traditional observed every time a CDF retires.

After the ceremony, he will have his last lunch with senior officers at the Officers’ Mess to mark the end of his military career.  Thereafter, the ceremony will culminate with soldier’s lining up from the mess to the Defence headquarters gate from where Gen Mwathethe will board his personal car and leave.

The new book captures KDF journey as a military force with emphasis especially in regard after being placed them under the command of the UN-sanctioned African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

“The book delves into the unfinished agendum of Amisom’s coming exit—and what it means for Kenya. It is a worthy tribute to our soldiers who fought and even paid the ultimate price and an invaluable read for students, experts and practitioners of military history and strategy,” General Mwathethe writes in the publication.

In his own words, the outgoing General states that after years of fighting in the trenches at the warfront in Somalia, he has come to learn that “mastering the art of war is not enough.”

“Every force has to defend its integrity at an age when the Fact or the Truth, as we knew them, are no longer upheld as sacrosanct. Moreover, in a rapidly changing geopolitical environment, the search for peace can be as elusive as shooting moving targets,” he writes.

The book that is organized in 12 chapters includes an epilogue, literally “the last word”, by the incoming CDF, General Kibochi.

 The chapters include a history of KDF as a force for peace, Kenya and Somalia prior to Operation Linda Nchi , the history of extremism from Al-Ittihad to Al-Shabaab, the propaganda war in the Somalia incursion and the new geopolitics of peace operations in the Horn of Africa.

Notably, it lays grounds for KDF troops coming exit from Somalia, gives a vision of a post-Amisom security order and concludes with a war cry for peace.

It was edited by a team comprised of Professor Kagwanja as the Chief Editor and Brigadier Stephen Mutuku James as Assistant Chief Editor supported by Colonel Paul Njuguna, Colonel Njoroge Gitogo, Colonel Ahmed Saman, Lt Colonel Charles Imbiakha, Lt Colonel David Kwach and Lt Colonel Daniel Muguro.

The book, War for Peace Kenya’s Military in the African Mission in Somalia, 2012-2020, now becomes the fourth major publication by KDF in the recent past.

The books so far launched are The Soldier’s Legacy: The Kenya Army at 55 (2018), Operation Linda Nchi: Kenya’s Military Experience in Somalia (2014), Kenya Air Force Story 1964-2014(2015) and Kenya Navy: A 50-Year Voyage (2017).