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I was misquoted, Somalia President says on report 200 KDF troops killed in El Adde

The Somalia President has denied reports that he said between 180 and 200 KDF troops were killed by al Shabaab in El Adde on January 15.

Through spokesman Daud Awes, Hassan Mohamud said he was “misquoted” and that he did not not mean the figures were of soldiers massacred in the ambush.

Mohamoud said he was only describing the size of a camp and the number of soldiers believed to have been present during the attack.

He told Somali Cable TV during an interview last Thursday that: “When 180 or close to 200 soldiers who were sent to us are killed in one day in Somalia, it is not easy.”

“The soldiers had been sent to help us get peace in our country and their families are convinced that they died while on duty.”

Sources at Villa Somalia (State House) said the retraction followed a protest letter to Mogadishu in which Kenya termed the claims “grossly out of order”.

KDF spokesman David Obonyo told the Star on phone on Thursday that the matter of the number of casualties in the ambush should not be trivialised

He said he has not talked to any media house about the number of troops killed.

“We should stop trivializing the dead . They are not mere statistics. They ought to be treated with honour and respect,” he said.

“The number the Somalia president quoted is way beyond a company size.”

A company is a military unit led by a Major or Captain, comprising three platoons each commanded by a Lieutenant with a total number of between 80 and 250.

Mohamoud mentioned the figures during an interview concerning his recent visit to Kenya soon after an attack on Lido beach attack in Mogadishu.

He joined President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari in honouring slain Kenya Defence Forces in Eldoret.

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Hassan sheikh meets kenya’s parliamentary committee

The President of Somali  Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Wednesday held a three-hour, closed door meeting with Kenya’s Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations in Eldoret.

Sources privy to the meeting told the Nation the meeting discussed the progress so far made in improving security in Somalia since the attack on the Kenyan troops in El-Adde on January 15.

The Parliamentary team was headed by its chairman, Tetu MP James Gethenji.

The meeting at Boma Inn Hotel was also attended by Somali Ambassador to Kenya Jamal Mohamed Hassan.

 

ROLE IN AMISOM

 

Mr Gethenji has said his team will launch investigations into the assault and interrogate Kenya’s role in the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

 

“We want to see debate brought to the floor of Parliament where we will discuss Kenya’s lead role in liberating Somalia,” said the MP.

Mr Gethenji is on record saying the operation has achieved significant gains, but time has come to “rethink and re look at the challenges.”

He added that they will run a parallel inquiry to the one being conducted by the Kenya Defence Forces.

Mr Mohamud arrived at 11:30am, escorted by Deputy President William Ruto and other leaders including Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago.

Mr Ruto later left the hotel for Eldoret International Airport to receive President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

Security around the hotel was beefed up, with uniformed and plain clothes officers stationed inside and outside, to boost security teams accompanying the Somali head of State

 

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President Kenyatta says kenya to Remain in Somalia peace

President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday Kenya was committed to remaining part of an African Union-led peacekeeping force in Somalia, after al Shabaab militants said they killed more than 100 soldiers in an attack on an army base.

The Islamist militants attacked the remote base close to the border with Kenya on Jan. 15, killing soldiers and seizing military equipment. Kenya has declined to say how many died.

“This is not the time to waiver or to listen to the voices of defeat and despair,” Kenyatta told a televised memorial service for the dead soldiers, attended by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari.

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We fight because our cause is just, because we want to restore a productive peace in Somalia and we also wish to protect ourselves from an enemy that would seek to destroy us.”

The main opposition party in Kenya has called for the withdrawal of troops from Somalia but Kenyatta said Kenya was committed to bringing stability to the neighbouring country.

African Union troops, now numbering about 22,000 from several African nations, have spent nearly a decade battling al Shabaab in Somalia, a country mired in conflict since civil war broke out in 1991.

Al Shabaab, which seeks to overthrow the Western-backed government in Mogadishu, often says its attacks against Kenyan targets are retaliation for its participation in the force, known as AMISOM, which also includes Uganda and Burundi.

The al Qaeda-aligned militants have been driven out of major strongholds in Somalia by AMISOM and Somali army offensives, but the group still controls some rural areas and often launches guerrilla-style assaults and bomb attacks.

Mohamoud repeatedly thanked the Kenyan people for their assistance in his government’s fight against al Shabaab, which he called “barbaric devils.”

“I want to assure you, we will defeat them,” he said.

Buhari, whose country also faces an Islamist insurgency from the group Boko Haram, expressed solidarity with Kenya, saying Nigerians “share your pain and grief.”

Newspaper pictures of coffins draped with Kenyan flags bringing back dead soldiers from the attack have increased pressure on Kenyatta and his military chiefs.

Al Shabaab has published photos which purport to show the bodies of dozens of Kenyan soldiers. Most appear to have been shot in the head.

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‘Stolen’ KDF Cruiser found, vehicle’s movements not well documented

BY:  Ali Haji :

 

A KDF Land Cruiser that had been reported missing from the Embakasi barracks has been found in Kiambu county.

Unnamed sources at the barracks have however dismissed the initial report of the Cruiser being stolen.

“There has arisen such an incident though so far, theft hasn’t been established but rather negligent record keeping of the vehicle’s movements,” the anonymous source said.

Police sources say officers from the garrison reported the theft on Friday morning.

Another source hinted at the theft of the vehicle being an inside job.

“The car was parked at an area where not even a police car can be allowed to park and anyone who drove out with the car must be a military officer in full uniform,” the source said.

The missing vehicle caused panic with fears that it may have been stolen to be used in a terror attack by the al Shabaab militia group.

The Somalia-based militia group with links to al Qaeda used Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIED) in an attack on a KDF camp in El Adde, Gedo, Somalia where an unknown number of soldiers were killed.

“It is very embarrassing these officers can do something like this while comfortable at the barracks as their colleagues die in Somalia,” a police officer said.

Despite the Cruiser being found in Kiambu, the KDF source said news of its ‘theft’ was a “ridiculously timely update” as the vehicle had been recovered in the same vicinity from where it had been reported stolen.

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Kenyan forces accused of targeting civilians in Gedo after El Adde attack

The Kenyan Defense Forces have been accused of targeting civilians in its latest operation in the southern Somali region of Gedo following last week’s ambush by the militant group Al Shabab on a Kenyan military camp of El Adde in the same region.

More KDF have been deployed in Somalia since El Ade attack so search and rescue the missing soldiers in Somalia.

Unknown number of Kenyan soldiers were killed in the attack that was allegedly caused by security blunder by the forces. The dawn attack was described as the worst since Kenyan forces moved in to Somalia to pursue Al Shabab.

Elders in the Gedo region, while speaking to Radio Goobjoog that is based in Mogadishu said the Kenyan forces have killed civilians and displaced villagers in El Adde and neighboring areas. They said they would hold the Kenyan government accountable.

“If they (KDF) think that no one will hold them responsible for this crime, then they should be aware that we have international platforms to seek justice,” Elder Dahir Adan said.

Kenyan war planes started pounding villages around the El Adde camps three days after the attack was reported. According to KDF statement, they targeted areas they deemed to be Al Shabab hide-outs.

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kenya on a serious search of the missing soldiers

BY: Al Hajjy

Kenyan Defense force jets have decided to carry  out serious  air strikes on militants bases in southwestern Somalia as a large-scale manhunt continues for missing soldiers following a deadly attack on an army base.

The Al-Qaeda group know as Al-Shabab which carried out the deadly attack on El-Adde military camp which housed Kenyan forces who are parts of African Union forces in Somalia claimed that it killed more than 100 soldiers during the complex attack last week.

However, the Kenyan government which confirmed it lost soldiers in the attack declined to either confirm nor deny the figures claimed by extremist .

Helicopters have airlifted some of the soldiers wounded in the attack while the military also claimed it rescued some soldiers in El-Adde as the government faces domestic pressure to bring back the missing soldiers.

Al-Shabab spokesman  claimed that they  captured some Kenyan soldiers during the attack.

Residents in Gedo region specialy in El-Cade reported loud explosions as warplanes struck Al-Shabab strongholds.

In the meantime, Somalia’s Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali  Sharmarke has  condemned the attack of  Monday, vowing his government would eradicate ‘remnants’ of Al-Shabab from the whole country.

“Evidently the terrorist group is faced with mounting pressure in their small hideaway pockets due to  the well planned military operations carried out by the Somali National Army and the AMISOM
troops.” He claimed.

 

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injured KDF soldiers back home

BY: Al Hajjy

The Somali Al qaeda linked group al-Shabab said on Sunday that it had captured some Kenyan soldiers during its attack Friday on a base of African Union peacekeepers in southwestern Somalia.

On Sunday four wounded Kenyan soldiers were airlifted back home but Kenyan officials gave no death toll. President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed on Friday that some soldiers had been killed in the attack, which involved suicide car bombs and gunmen.

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Kenyan Defense Secretary Raychelle Omamo told reporters Sunday that there is an ongoing search, rescue and recovery operation in the area where the attack happened.

“The operation area remains dangerous, volatile and fluid, and our soldiers still remain at risk,” she said, adding that information about casualties is being given directly to families.

In a statement Sunday, al-Shabab claimed the number of dead Kenyan troops had risen to 100. It was not possible to verify that figure.

“This audacious attack — the largest single attack against the Kenyan military inside Somalia — comes as a response to the aggressive Kenyan invasion of Muslim lands and the Kenyan military’s continued persecution of innocent Muslims, particularly in the northeast and the coastal regions,” the statement said.

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Al-Shabab also claimed its fighters seized armaments and military vehicles in the attack in the town of El-Ade near the Kenyan border.

Al-Shabab, which opposes Kenya’s military involvement in Somalia and describes the Kenyans as invaders, has carried out many deadly attacks inside Kenyan territory.

Despite being pushed out of Somalia’s major cities and towns, al-Shabab continues to launch deadly guerrilla attacks across the Horn of Africa country.

African Union troops, government officials and foreigners are frequently targeted.

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