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Land Forces Symposium Conducted in Kenya
The president and commander-in-chief of the Kenyan Armed Forces, honorable Mwai Kibaki, officially opened the 2009 Land Forces Symposium April 20, 2009 at the Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel. <br /> <br />The symposium, co-hosted by Lieutenant General
The president and commander-in-chief of the Kenyan Armed Forces, honorable Mwai Kibaki, officially opened the 2009 Land Forces Symposium April 20, 2009 at the Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel.

The symposium, co-hosted by Lieutenant General Jackson Tuwel, commander of the Kenya Army, and Lieutenant General James Lovelace, commanding general of the U.S. Army Central, is an annual event that provides a forum for senior land forces commanders and army chiefs of staff from the United States, Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia to address topics of mutual interest.

Military officials from 23 countries, to include senior leaders from U.S. Army Africa, came together for this year's Land Forces Symposium, conducted by U.S. Army Central since 2006. This was the first to be held in Africa.

During the opening ceremony, Kibaki stated that the symposium was being held at a time when the region has recorded unprecedented number of cases of piracy covering a large part of the East African Coast. This is a development which he said has threatened sea transport -- a basic lifeline for several African states in the region.

He added that trade and critical imports are seriously threatened by the rise of piracy in the area, an issue which the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, reiterated by pointing out that piracy has its source on land.

"It is imperative that the symposium comes up with ideas on how best we can work together in addressing the problem of piracy," said Kibaki, adding that he looked forward to the results of the discussions.

Professor Macharla Munene, a professor of history and international relations at the United States International University, delivered the keynote address on the topic of global security concerns and outlook.

During the three-day symposium, military leaders will conduct panel discussions involving all 23 countries and will break into regional groups to discuss areas of mutual interest.
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