Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com
A 274-page report by a United Nations monitoring group published on Friday, November 4, has answered the elusive question of exactly how many Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers were killed in a bloody onslaught in the neighboring Somalia.
Not just that but it also confirmed that indeed, there are still Kenyan soldiers being held by the al Shabaab terrorist group. The said soldiers were captured during the El Adde attack on a KDF base in January 2016.
“Since their abduction, the group has received information concerning the changing whereabouts and status of the captives, which is shared with the Kenyan authorities through an intermediary,” read part of the report as quoted by Tuko.
Just recently, the terror group released a video of one of the abducted soldiers who was recorded asking the Kenyan government to negotiate his release as well as withdraw Kenyan troops from the war-torn Somalia.
The eight minute clip was that of Leonard Maingi, 40, from Makueni county. It was shared by al Shabaab on September 28, 2016.
“As soldiers, we obeyed your instructions and crossed into Somalia. We then went ahead to El Adde where we were attacked on January 15. We tried fighting but we were defeated and weapons seized,” Maingi said emotionally.
The El Adde attack remains the deadliest attack on Kenyan citizens by al Shabaab, followed closely by the Garissa University College massacre where over 140 students were killed in cold blood.
According to the said report, 150 Kenyan soldiers were killed in the northern Somalia town. It also confirmed that 12 civilians lost their lives.
There have been previous conflicting figures on exactly how many soldiers were killed with Somali President Hassan Sheik Mohamud and the terrorist group saying 180 and 250 Kenyan soldiers died, respectively.
But the report revealed more than just figures. The UN group also accused KDF of failing to implement basic defensive measures such as constructing fortified barriers at the entrance of the camp and neglecting man machine gun and mortar emplacements – a reason that al Shabaab captured the camp easily.