Terrorism: July 18, 2003

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: Kenyan Armed Forces and US troops will conduct another round of joint military exercise in the Coast and North Eastern provinces starting on July 26, although the Kenyan Ministry of Defense took great pains to make it clear that the US forces will be using Kenyan military facilities and not bases of their own. The joint exercises would be conducted in Manda, Lamu, Baragoni, Mombasa, Garrissa, Wajir and Mandera.

Local residents in Lamu had complained about being harassed by 40 US Marines carrying out security patrols around the islands within the district. Islamic scholar Sheikh Mohammed Sheikh said that they were stopping vessels plying various islands, instead of only those moving towards the Kenya/ Somali border and the American Embassy in Nairobi had to deny reports that up to "400 Marines were conducting security patrols at the Coast".

The marines were maintaining security along the Kenya/Somali border in conjunction with Kenyan Navy officers and supported by about 25 US Navy personnel currently at Manda Bay Naval Base (near Lamu). The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) can do this thanks to the US Navy's high-tech ship HSV-X1 'Joint Venture', which took American personnel down to the Kenyan region in early June. 

The counter-terrorism training, conducted in Kenya's coastal water and the international waters within CJTF-HOA's area of responsibility, supports the CJTF-HOA's mission to detect, disrupt and defeat transnational terrorist groups in the region. 

This is not the first time American troops had conducted joint exercises with Kenya units. In December 2002, around 750 Marines from the 24th MEU were involved in "Edged Mallet". About 200 Marines set up camp in a Kenyan naval base and had the opportunity to work in a hot wet jungle environment (seasons being reversed below the Equator). Then the 24th MEU went to Iraq. - Adam Geibel

Map of Kenya, online at: 
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/africa/kenya.gif

 

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