Kenyan Defence Force speaking through Kenya’s top-most military general, Samson Mwathethe has promised to crack down Somalia’s Al Shabaab terror group. He told the group to get ready for the wrath and destruction that is awaiting them in no time, vowing that the lives of the slaughtered soldiers shall not pass without being avenged.
Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe while paying respect to the murdered Kenyan troops, stated that the entire country is proud of the deceased soldiers and they will forever remain indelible in the memories of the country’s citizens. He also assured the late that the remaining soldiers will take up the fight and will neither succumb to the demands of the terror group nor shy away from avenging their death.
Mwathethe released these statements On Sunday while receiving soldiers who got injured during the Friday morning attack inside Somalia with Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, at Wilson Airport in Nairobi.
He also hinted that even though some Kenyan soldiers are still in the captivity of the terror group who attacked a Kenya Defence Force (KDF) base in El-Adde, Gedo, that the blood of the dead soldiers must be avenged.
The General also told the media that the terror group used the military hostages as human shield to deter the soldiers from attacking back, but won’t escape the revenge of Kenyan soldiers this time as their hideouts will be hunt down, and they will be brought out of their caves the way hunters do to ground squirrels and soldiers will hit them back furiously to the end in honor of every drop of our soldiers.
Quoting the General:
We will fight them deep in their hideouts, we will smoke them out of their caves and follow them to the end in honor of every drop of our Kenyans”.
Mwathethe also told the media when he received four survivors of the terrorist attack, who were flown to Nairobi for treatment, that the rest of the soldiers should count on them.
The cabinet secretary for defence Ms Raychelle Omamo claimed that the actual number of soldiers killed remains uncertain, that however, more than 80 KDF personnel were affected when Al-Shabaab militants attacked their base in Somalia.
Ms Omamo also revealed that several soldiers had not yet been traced and a search-and-rescue mission is ongoing in the area. She said the attack was implemented by terrorists using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices commandeered by suicide bombers.
In the words of Omamo:
“The soldiers affected by the attack are a company size force. A search, rescue and recovery operation has been going on since the attack and would continue till all those affected were recovered.
Mwathethe and Omamo urged the families of the affected soldiers and general public to exercise patience with Kenyan military as the reported search and rescue mission may take time.
However she didn’t comment on whether the soldiers were dead, missing or just injured. For better understanding, a company in military terms is a unit, typically consisting of 80–250 soldiers and normally commanded by a major or captain.
Meanwhile a soldier identified as Joseph Muganda alongside his injured colleagues were rescued after spending days in the bush. This was revealed a few minutes following the officials’ speech.
Reports say Muganda had put a call to his parents and seniors on Friday informing them he had an injured colleague and needed to be rescued. The soldier also told his parent that he had a fully loaded gun while in the bus. He revealed that used to see KDF planes hovering from where he was hiding, but couldn’t reach out to the rescue team. Muganda, according to reports was among more than a dozen listed to be missing in action.
Omamo further disclosed that operation area inside Somalia are still risky, and volatile, stating that the soldiers are still at risk of attacks. She also begged people to remain calm given that many have been clamoring for substantial information concerning the attack as well as concerns which are continuously raised among families and relatives of those fighting in Somalia.
Information regarding casualties and the fallen soldiers is being presented to affected families directly as rescue, recovery, verification and consolidation operations continue.
Mwathethe explained how the gruesome terror group carried out the attack, saying:
Attackers drove in three vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and struck before being followed by suicide bombers. They seemingly arrived in three such vehicles, with one targeting a Somali National Army base while two went for KDFs.
They ran past two main roadblocks before they stopped inside the camp, where there were other explosives.
Upon getting inside, the detonated the explosives before the suicide bombers went on with their mission of setting the camp on fire. The affected soldiers are from Eldoret and Gilgil Army bases and had just reported to take over from older team that left.
Al-Shabaab was now evolving and competing for space but would not undermine KDF’s operational and combat capability.
For the brave men and women of KDF, as we stand for our core values and maintain our vision and mission, I commend you for the fighting spirit and professionalism you have displayed. Let us keep the momentum.