The UN Security Council’s extension by one more year of the African Union Mission to Somalia is a huge vote of confidence in the AU’s fight against terrorism.

The decision also means that Kenyan troops will have more time to solidify the gains they have made since crossing the border in October 2011 to take the war to the fanatical Al-Shabaab.

It is also an opportunity to dispel claims of involvement in illicit trade.

There have been challenges, including some casualties, as would be expected in such a military campaign.

However, this has not dampened the soldiers’ spirits. Of course, the biggest achievement has been to push the militants further away from the common border, and the capture of the port city of Kismayu is the jewel in the crown. Taking control of the port city has denied Al-Shabaab a vital source of revenue from smuggling and charcoal exports.

The Kenyans are credited with helping allied troops to recapture strategic towns from Al-Shabaab and weakening its grip on the country.

This outfit remains a big threat, but it could have been worse had the AU not stepped in. Al-Shabaab is a brutal gang affiliated to Al-Qaeda, and both pose a grave threat to global peace. An emasculated Al-Shabaab is our best guarantee of peace and prosperity.

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