Portsmouth MP visits African states to strengthen UK’s defence commitment in the region

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BRITAIN’S relationships with Kenya and Somalia have been boosted after a visit from armed forces minister Penny Mordaunt.

The Portsmouth North MP spent time in both of the African countries to reinforce the UK’s defence links there.

During the Kenyan leg of her trip, Ms Mordaunt met the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Defence, Raychelle Omamo, to discuss the UK and Kenya’s long-standing defence relationship.

The pair spoke to influential women working in the Kenyan security sector.

While out there, the MP had a chance to speak with the British Army Training Unit Kenya and British Peace Support Team East Africa to see the scope and scale of UK military activity in the African state.

‘The UK shares a long-standing and mutually beneficial defence relationship with Kenya,’ said Ms Mordaunt. We are bound together by a wide range of shared interests.’

Ms Mordaunt said this was more important than ever given Kenya’s commitment to the peacekeeping African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) and its fight against terrorism in the region.

To reinforce Britain’s commitment to helping allies countering terrorism, Ms Mordaunt revealed the UK government would contribute £3m to the UN Somali National Army Trust Fund.

The money will help pay for resources, including rations, fuel and medical supplies, in support of the fight against terror group Al Shabaab.

Ms Mordaunt said was ‘delighted’ to present the cash.