Our soldiers are the 'bomb' and Al-Shabaab are aware, says governor

Thursday February 25 2016

Mourners during a funeral service for Senior Private Joshua Munyoki Charles, a KDF soldier from Kitui County on February 25, 2016. He was was killed in an Al-Shabaab attack in El-Adde, Somalia, on January 15. PHOTO | THOMAS WAITA |NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mourners during a funeral service for Senior Private Joshua Munyoki Charles, a KDF soldier from Kitui County on February 25, 2016. He was was killed in an Al-Shabaab attack in El-Adde, Somalia, on January 15. PHOTO | THOMAS WAITA |NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By THOMAS WAITA
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Attacks by Al-Shabaab will not stop the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Kenyans in fighting terrorism, Kitui Governor Julius Malombe has said.

Speaking on Thursday during the burial of Joshua Munyoki Charles, a KDF soldier who was killed in the El Adde attack, Mr Malombe said Kenyans have not lost faith in the forces’ ability to defend the country.

He opined it would be shameful and cowardice for the country to draw back its offensive against Al-Shabaab inside Somalia.

Senior Private Munyoki died alongside a yet-to-be-confirmed number of soldiers who lost their lives when Al-Shabaab attacked their military camp in El-Adde, Somalia, on January 15. He was buried at his father’s home in Kwa Ngindu location, Kitui Central.

“Our losses should back-up Kenya’s determination to move forward with its anti-terror mission in an endeavour to defeat the Al-Shabaab and keep the citizens safe and panic-free.

“I believe the state plans to recall our soldiers in the Amisom only after the enemy has been wiped out and our border secured,” said Malombe.

The Governor lauded the national government for increased investment toward matters of state security and suggested lobbying the international community for extra military assistance to put an end to cases of terror attack in Kenya.

His sentiments were echoed by Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu who as well urged the state to consider putting up a monument in honour of the fallen soldiers.

“They paid the ultimate price while defending their country and erecting a monument with their names inscribed on it would be the best possible way to honour their salient loyalty and patriotism to this nation,” said the legislator.

Munyoki, 24, joined the Kenya Armed Forces in 2013 and received training at the Recruit Training School (RTS) in Eldoret before he was posted to the 9th Kenya Rifles Battalion.

He served for one year in Mandera counter-insurgency operation before joining Amisom, where he met his untimely death, at the start of 2016.

Hundreds of mourners joined family and colleagues of the deceased to bid their final farewell to the slain young soldier.

His KDF colleagues eulogised him as a loyal, courageous and patriotic soldier who put his life on the line to protect his beloved country.