MOGADISHU (SD) – Kenyan troops working under the framework of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) will soon be able to carry out IED clearance operations thanks to a deal to acquire counter IED equipment.
According to sources, a deal to acquire the Véhicule Détecteur de mines (VDM) between Kenya military and a European developer and manufacturer of missiles, MBDA is underway.
According to MBDA, the VDM system has proven route clearance solution able to clear 150 km of route, in one day, with a maximum speed of 25 km/h. VDM is particularly suitable against mines and IEDs, for securing shuttle traffic (supply convoys) or for opening up main routes during combat operations.
The development barely days after over ten Kenyan soldiers were killed in IED blast in southern Somalia.
The East Africa nation sent troops to Somalia in 2011 to neutralize Al-Shabaab fighters who were accused of kidnapping several people from Kenya.
A year later, the UN Security Council gave Kenya the green light to join AMISOM, a decision that meant the treasury would not bear the full costs of the incursion.
Though Kenya has never made public the number of its troops killed or amount of money it has spent on the war on Al-Shabaab, the country suffered the highest death toll when compared to its AMISOM partners.
Key among the numbers which remain a military secret is how many soldiers died in the twin Kulbiyow (2017) and El Adde (2016) attacks.
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