Months after Nairobi placed an order to purchase assorted military aircraft from the US, Foreign affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has traveled to the US to have the deal finalized.
Reports indicate that the Cabinet Secretary was in Washington this week to deliberate on details surrounding the purchase. She met Senator Bob Corker, the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Tom Shannon, the acting Deputy Secretary of State, the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, and other U.S. officials on Wednesday
“Kenya shares the United States security concerns in the Horn of Africa including fighting violent extremism, stabilizing Somalia and concluding the South Sudan peace process.
"Kenya is open to discussions on the new administration’s ideas on how to push forward this shared agenda,” the CS said in a dispatch from the Foreign Ministry on Friday.
Amina’s trip comes barely days after the US labeled parts of Somalia as a war zone which allowed US troops the flexibility to launch attacks against Al-Shabaab.
Kenya requested to purchase 12 Air Tractor AT-802L and two AT-504 trainer aircraft, weapons, technical support and program management for these equipment, all worth $418 million in January.
“This proposed sale contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a strong regional partner who is a regional security leader undertaking critical operations against Al-Shabaab and troop contributor to the African Union Mission in Somalia,” it said in January.
The purchase was recently rocked by controversy after US Congressman Ted Rudd claimed it was overpriced on grounds that a company in his North Carolina state would sell it at half the money L-3 demanded.