Kenya Defense Forces female soldiers on Friday made triumph entry to Dhobley town, which was liberated a few years ago from Al-Shabaab militants.
The troops distributed foodstuffs among them beans, biscuits, milk and other edible items even as hunger bites hard in several regions across Somalia.
The commander of the AMISOM Kenyan contingent, Brigadier Dickson Ruto oversaw the distribution.
Brig. Ruto said that his contingent would partner with community-based organisations to deliver food and medical services to families in need.
He added that the AMISOM female troops would jointly implement the initiative with their female counterparts in the Somali National Army (SNA) and Jubbaland state security forces.
“There is a serious drought across Somalia. It is important that we focus on the less privileged, particularly widows, orphans, and internally displaced persons who don’t have enough food at this very critical moment,” said Ruto.
The Administrator of Dhobley Town, Siyad Mohamed Hassan was grateful for the initiative, and called for more cooperation between AMISOM and local authorities in order to secure and help develop the area.
“We request that such efforts should not stop here. We should collaborate and participate in other areas such as public health and sanitation, sports, education, and rehabilitation of roads," added Siyad.
Capt. Lynette Rachi, who commanded the females within the AMISOM Kenyan contingent said the food donation would offer relief to vulnerable families, especially mothers, affected by the drought conditions.
“At the end of the day, all that a mother needs is to put food on the table for her children. So, the little we were able to get from the AMISOM headquarters, we were happy to share and have a great day together,” said Capt. Rachi.
Previously, female soldiers were not allowed to take part in a battlefield. They were recruited as Women Service Cops but General (Rtd) Daudi Tonje merged them with KDF in 1997.
The distribution of food by female soldiers comes amid maritime standoff between Kenya and Somalia. Somalia accused KDF also of committing various atrocities in the country.