NEWS

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.

Advertisements
Standard
NEWS

Kenya seizes UN trucks for allegedly ferrying food to Al-Shabaab

Kenyan authorities are holding three UN World Food Programmed (WFP) trucks in Mandera County near the Somali border for allegedly ferrying food supplies to Islamist militants Al-Shabaab in the Horn of Africa nation.

Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said Tuesday the security agents seized the trucks stashed with food items destined for Dolo in the Horn of Africa nation.

Shisia said WFP workers have started supplying food rations to the Al-Shabaab militants following a meeting at Bulla Hawa by Somali authorities.

“Following a meeting between Somalia National Army, Transitional Federal government officials and the Bulla Hawa community they agreed the Al-Shabaab also be given food rations from WFP, the government cannot allow this to happen as criminals who continue killing our people cannot be fed,” said Shisia.

He said the government which has been fighting the insurgents in southern Somalia will not allow food to be supplied to the same militants whom its troops have been fighting.

Shisia said the lorries which were held on Sunday will continue being under police custody until WFP clarifies its position.

The government administrator said the government is yet to receive WFP position on the issue and that the trucks will continue being detained.

“We will need to get an explanation from the WFP as to who are to who sole beneficiary of the food programme before we allow it to get into Somalia,” Shisia said.

The county boss disclosed that a truck that was in the same convoy and carrying a land cruiser was allowed to proceed to Dolo.

“We allowed the truck to proceed as this was not food, what we are doing is to deny our enemy benefit from the humanitarian assistance,” Shisia said.

There was no comment from the UN WFP officials in Nairobi.

Kenya’s security forces have intensified patrols along its porous border with Somalia after the Somali militants attacked its base in Gedo region, killing several soldiers.

The Kenyan military has confirmed the deaths, but did not give the number of those killed in the Jan. 15 attack, saying efforts to “consolidate” returns from the battlefield were still ongoing.

However, Al-Shabaab forces said that more than 100 Kenyan soldiers were killed and several others injured a statement that has been disputed by AMISOM.

Standard
NEWS

mpeketoni-terror-suspects-to-stand-trial again

A Mombasa court will proceed with a case in which two men are charged with mass murders in Mpeketoni, Lamu.
The High Court put the duo on their defence in connection with the June 15, 2014 slaughter of 60 men and a woman in carnage claimed by Al Shabaab. High Court Judge Martin Muya yesterday said Mahadi Swaleh Mahadi alias Jesus and Diana Salim Suleiman have a case to answer. State witnesses told the court Mr Suleiman hired the vehicles that ferried the attackers. They also claimed he participated in the murders and was in contact with the militants before and after the killings. The witnesses accused him of misleading investigators that he left his cellphone in Malindi as a ruse to mask his movements. A survivor of the slaughter said Suleiman was among the killers. Justice Muya said: “I have perused the evidence adduced in the court during the trial and found that the prosecution has established a prima facie against the accused.” Their lawyers, immediately announced that they would call witnesses to demolish the State’s case arguing Mr Mahadi and Suleiman had no connection to the violence and were not at the scene on day of the
killings.
mpeketoni-suspects3

mpeketoni suspects Diana Suleiman (left) and Mahadi swaleh Mahadi at High court in Mombasa

Taib Ali Taib, Mahadi’s lawyer, said his client would call 10 witnesses to prove that he was not among the militants while Suleiman’s lawyer, A B Olaba, told the court that his client would call three witnesses. During the trial, a single witness who testified under protection and cannot be named due to a court sanctioned gag order, said he saw Suleiman among the attackers. Early yesterday the witness said men in jungle uniform stormed his house. “Before I could start the journey to the village elder, they tied my hands with a rope and started hurling all sorts of insults at me as we walked to the place they were headed to,” said the witness. The witness recalled that on their way one of the attackers suggested they visit a woman who sold alcohol in the area and confusion ensued. The witness escaped. Suleiman has told the court that he was hijacked in his vehicle in Witu and injured by the attackers who forced him to ferry them to Mpeketoni. He said he was arrested after seeking treatment at a Lamu hospital. Mahad said he was in Malindi on the said day, although his cellphone records brought to court by the State indicated he was in Mpeketoni on the dreadful night
Standard
NEWS

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

 

Standard
NEWS

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.

hass

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.

hass1

 

Standard
NEWS

Journalist Yassin Juma defends one-finger salute after release

Journalist-cum-blogger Yassin Juma was released Monday afternoon and found himself having to explain a hand sign he made on Sunday which many claimed was used by terrorists.

He was taken to Kiambu law courts and returned to Muthaiga police station without any charges.

Juma took to his Facebook to announce his freedom, posing for a photo with two friends while making the one-finger sign.

ss

‘FREE AT LAST’

He wrote: “Am (sic) Free at last. Thank You Everyone For your support. I appreciate all your efforts following my arrest and detention.”

He went on: “And for those asking what the index finger stands for, it is a sign used to indicate the oneness of God and that our tribulations in this world can only be solved by that one good Lord. God is one and no other entity/being is as powerful, merciful and Magnificent as he is.”

Juma was on Saturday night arrested over photos he posted on his blog and social media accounts on the attack by Al-Shabaab militants on a Kenyan military camp in El-Adde, Somalia.

Mr Juma was on Sunday grilled by detectives over the photos.

ARRESTED AT NIGHT

He was arrested at his residence in Donholm estate, Nairobi, on Saturday at around 8pm by eight officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters and taken to the Muthaiga police station.

“I was from the hospital when I was arrested by eight police officers in two cars. They took me to my house where they conducted a search before they escorted me to the police station,” he told Nation at the police station.

Many had alleged that the one finger signal was used by Al-Shabaab and ISIS.

as

mr Yassin (centre) after he was released and colleagues

Standard
NEWS

‘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.

Standard