Kenya celebrated 59 years of independence from British colonial rule on Monday (Dec. 12).
Kenya's fifth president, William Ruto, paid homage to those who helped free Kenya from British colonialism nearly six decades ago as heroic defenders of the country's "sovereignty".
Speaking in Nairobi, Ruto said independence had brought many achievements and much progress to the country.
"The sixth decade of our independence, we can proudly cite many achievements and impressive progress made through our own consistent efforts as evidence that our freedom struggle was neither an empty political adventure nor a reactionary born of idle resentment," he said.
"We gather as a nation to commune with our forefathers who were long suffering innocent victims of imperial plunder and colonial oppression, yet also heroic defenders of inalienable sovereignty and valiant fighters of our freedom," he added.
Ruto said Kenya was consistent in peacekeeping missions to ensure security and stability in Africa.
"We are proud of Kenya's consistent record of leadership to advance the cause of peace, cohesion , security and stability in our region. Under various regional and continental frameworks and with the support of international partners, we are deploying our position as a regional anchor state for the benefit of our neighbours and region," Ruto said.