NAIROBI, JANUARY 19, 2016 (CISA) – The bodies of four soldiers of the Kenya Defence Forces who died in an al-Shabaab attack in Somalia were flown to Nairobi on Monday January 18.
The military plane carrying the bodies touched down at the Wilson Airport a few minutes to 10pm with each casket wrapped in the Kenyan flag. Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, who was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe and other senior military officers, received the four Kenyan heroes.
Fr John Maingi, Major Rev Habil Nakhumwah and Major Imam Abdinoor led in a brief prayer session for the country, the fallen soldiers and the bereaved families. After the prayer session, the bodies were moved to waiting military ambulances and headed to the mortuary, awaiting their final resting place.
CS Omamo explained the rescue and recovery operation was meticulously being carried out for the safety of the soldiers still in Somalia. “This is a very sombre moment for the Kenya Defence Forces and the country at large,” the CS said.
“We emphasise our great appreciation to the people of Kenya that are supporting us with love and compassion through this hard time.We want to handle the operation carefully for the benefit of the families of our soldiers,” she added.
The government has remained tight-lipped on the number of soldiers killed, wounded or missing after the attack.
The CS said more soldiers will continue coming home as the operation continues at El Adde in Gedo region where the attacked occurred on Friday January 15.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a statement, reiterated that Kenya will not be shaken or deterred by the actions of Al shabaab militants following Friday’s attack.
He said Kenya will move forward adding that the fallen KDF soldiers did not die in vain.
“Our soldiers did not die in vain. We have over the years relieved millions of citizens of the Federal Republic of Somalia from the pitiless oppression of terror. Our efforts, together with those of other AMISOM peacekeepers, who also lost their lives, have enabled normal government operations to return in Somalia,” said President Kenyatta.