Uhuru says he will reject US request to launch drone strikes in Kenya: “We will not accept”

KEYNA – (WARSOOR) – President Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed claims the United States military’s Africa Command was pressing for permission to carry out armed drone strikes in parts of eastern Kenya.

The head of state said terrorism threats had decreased sharply in the country but acknowledged Somali’s al-Shabaab remained the main danger to national security.

Uhuru made the remarks during an interview with FRANCE 24 while on an official visit to France, where he discussed the main challenges facing his presidency.

” The US hasn’t even requested for authority to launch drone strikes within Kenyan territory … we would not accept it because we do not even feel it is necessary, said Uhuru.

Uhuru said the only time such authorisation was made was when the US launched drone strikes on terrorist bases in Somali in the past.

” We have terrorist incursion but we do not have terrorist bases in Kenya, therefore, there is no such thing,” said Uhuru.

The president further stressed that he if the US would request to carry out a drone strike within the Kenyan territory, he would decline the request.

The president said the past two years Kenyan security forces working in conjunction with international partners had greatly reduced incidences of terror attacks within the borders.

He did not commit to a date for Kenyan troops to withdraw from Somalia.

Prior reports indicated Four American officials were reported to have said the militia group was potentially expanding the war zone across the border from its sanctuaries in Somalia.

However, that did not necessarily mean the US will start carrying out drone attacks in Kenya as per the reports.

Nevertheless, the officials who sought anonymity said this would give Africa Command permission under certain circumstances to expand the counterterrorism drone war in another country.