U.S. and Kenya Sign Military Cooperation Deal

Published: May 24, 2024

Washington, D.C. – The United States and Kenya have signed a new Defense Memorandum of Understanding to enhance security cooperation and joint military operations between the two nations, Kenya’s Defense Minister Adan Barre Duale announced.

The agreement was signed by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Fee and Kenyan officials during a meeting in Washington this week. It paves the way for expanded infrastructure and modernization efforts at Manda Bay airport near Kenya’s border with Somalia.

“This agreement will support counter-terrorism efforts, develop operational capabilities, and accommodate larger aircraft, which will increase mobility and flexibility of our security forces,” Duale said in a statement posted on his X account.

He added that the deal followed Kenya’s request and the U.S. government’s commitment to finance the construction work, demonstrating the “strong cooperation” between the countries in fighting terrorism and promoting world peace.

The new military memorandum comes as the U.S. aims to raise its level of cooperation with Kenya on regional and international affairs. On Thursday, President Joe Biden welcomed Kenyan President William Ruto to the White House for bilateral talks.

The infrastructure upgrades planned for Manda Bay airport are expected to bolster joint counter-terrorism operations in the region. Somalia-based al-Shabab militants have carried out numerous attacks in Kenya in recent years.