Throughout the years the Kenya Army has been very active in Peace Keeping Missions commonly referred to as International Peace Support Operations. The Kenya Army’s participation can be traced way back in 1973 Israel/Arab wars in the Middle East.
This was the first peace mission that the UN requested the government of Kenya to aid by contributing soldiers in the volatile war zone. The troops were however not deployed despite the government heeding the call due logistical technicalities.
Six years on, in 1979, the Commonwealth requested the Republic of Kenya’s Army participation in the Peace Mission in Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe). The country was experiencing war of liberation from the Ian smith regime by the indigenous people. This became the Kenya Army’s first all-inclusive Peace Support Mission participation.
Successively, Kenya Army has taken part in numerous Peace Keeping Missions notably; Chad in 1982 upon the Organization of African Unity request, sent military infantry and observers to Namibia among others.
Kenya Army has ceaselessly participated in UN Peace-Keeping Operations dating from 1989 and was ranked as the 6th out of 90 countries who contribute both military and civilian police to the UN operations.
Among the things that Kenya Army contributes in the Peace Keeping Missions are Infantry troops, military observers, staff officers as well as civilian police monitors.
The contributions have not left out force commanders, chief military observers as well as chiefs of staff to UN and AU missions notably;
Chief Military Observers to UNOMIL (Liberia), UNUMOZ (Mozambique), UNPROFOR (Yugoslavia) and UNMOP (Croatia); Force commanders to UNOMIL (Liberia) deputy Force Commander to UNTAG (Namibia) and most recent AMISOM in Somalia.
At present, Kenyan Peace Keepers under the United Nations have served in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, Middle East and the Balkans.
The period of deployment to the missions varies from mission to another depending on the intricacy of every conflict. To date the Peace Keeping Operations have ranged between one and eight years.