Uhuru flies to Somalia in rare military plane

Kenya owns only three of such military aircrafts

President Kenyatta flies to Somalia in rare military plane

President Uhuru Kenyatta has on Thursday, June 9 travelled to Somalia to attend the inauguration of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the tenth President of the East African nation.

President Kenyatta used the C-27J Spartan Tactical Military Transport Aircraft (TMAT) to fly to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. It is worth noting that Kenya currently owns only three of such aircrafts.

The three aircrafts purchased from Italy between November 2017 and February 2018 cost Kenya a total of Sh23 billion ($198million). TMAT's are multi-purpose aircrafts used during the transportation of armed forces and paratroopers.

Aside from transporting soldiers, the aircrafts often carry useful military materials, conduct cargo airdrops as well as search and rescue services, take part in medical evacuations and provide logistic supply. The aircrafts can also be used in civilian operations by providing humanitarian support, firefighting and other emergencies.

Earlier today, President Kenyatta met with President Mohamud where he was able to deliver a congratulatory message on behalf of Kenyans. In his speech, President Kenyatta reiterated that Kenya has all intentions to forge stronger relations with her Eastern neighbour.

"I bring to you today a message of goodwill and best wishes from the government and people of the republic of Kenya on your re-election and inauguration as the tenth President of the Republic of Somalia," said President Kenyatta.

It is worth noting that President Mohamud took the reigns of power from outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo who was his successor in 2017. President Mohamud had previously served from 2012 to 2017 as head of the Federal Government of Somalia, the first government created after the end of a long period of turbulence that started in 1991.

President Kenyatta in his closing remarks, reiterated his desire to work with the new President of Somalia in an opportunity to break all existing barriers to trade. "I personally look forward to working with you to remove all barriers to trade to open our borders and reestablish airlines between our two countries."

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