5 February 2017

Kenya: Uhuru Urged to Withdraw KDF Soldiers From Somalia

President Uhuru Kenyatta has been urged to withdraw Kenyan soldiers from Somalia, following a recent Al-Shabaab attack on a KDF camp that left 21 personnel dead.

Speaking during the burial of Rajab Baya Kazungu -- one of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers who was killed at Kulbiyow, Somalia -- on Saturday at his Kinarani home in Kilifi County, mourners said it was time for the soldiers to protect the country's borders from within.

Among those who attended the burial was Kaloleni MP Gunga Mwinga, area ward representative Pascal Thuva and a member of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Morris Dzoro.

A sombre mood engulfed the village as KDF soldiers carried the casket bearing the remains of Mr Kazungu around 3pm, bringing to and end the life of the soldier who married on December 3 before being deployed to Somalia.

He was among four soldiers from the county who were killed in line of duty in Somalia.

Others who perished in the attack were Kennedy George Bakari, 30, and his nephew Juma Bakari, Mwanguyo, 38, from Mikuluni in Ganze Sub County and Francis Kombo from Mazeras in Rabai Sub County.

The other three are yet to be buried, with family sources saying they will be laid to rest next Saturday.

Mr Gunga joined locals and other leaders who spoke in calling for the withdrawal of Kenyan soldiers from Somalia.

"The President recently withdrew all the troops in Sudan. We would like to see the same happening now because we are not at war with Somalia," he said.

Area MCA said it was saddening to see many soldiers being killed in a foreign land yet Mr Kenyatta, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, seemingly paying little attention.

"We want our soldiers home and then the President can send a peace committee to Somalia," said Mr Thuva.

"The deaths of our young soldiers in war front is saddening... let us maintain peace as the concerned departments address the concerns," said Mr Dzoro.

On Thursday, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi visited some of the affected families where in his condolences also called for immediate withdrawal of Kenyan soldiers from Somalia.

"Less than a year ago, Al-Shabaab militants launched an attack on a Kenyan-run AMISOM army base in the town of El Adde and killed many of our soldiers. Today, we meet here to mourn the deaths of our soldiers who perished in yet another terrorist attack from the same terrorist group. This must stop and it is only through withdrawing our soldiers from Somalia," said Mr Kingi.

Kenya

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