Emotions ran high on Tuesday during the burial of one of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers who was killed in the August 8 Al-Shabaab attack in Lamu County.
Hundreds of friends and relatives of Mr Robert Tallam Komen, 23, gathered at his family’s farm in Kamungei village in Njoro Constituency, Nakuru County to lay his body to rest.
Mr Komen, who joined the army in 2016, had only served for a year and nine months before he met his death during a landmine explosion in Lamu.
Born on April 24, 1995, he attended Kamungei Primary School before joining Ayeibo Secondary School where he sat his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.
Speakers at the funeral condoled the family and praised the fallen soldier, saying he was a hardworking and humble young man.
“The attack robbed me of a great, industrious, ambitious, humble and hardworking friend and son. I was really heartbroken by the news of his death. May he rest in peace,” said his mother, Ms Kabilo Cheserem, amid tears.
She went on: "I will miss you my son, you had big dreams. Nevertheless all is well with my soul; let your soul rest in the hands of our God.’’
Mourners sobbed uncontrollably during the emotional send-off with many fainting in grief.
KDF Commander Lt Gen Robert Kibochi, in his speech, described Mr Komen as a brave, industrious and honest soldier who was dedicated to serving his country.
According to the army commander, the fallen soldier was among the soldiers who were relied on in major operations in the forces.
"The country has lost a great warrior who was dedicated to protecting his nation. He was a great asset as the country had invested a lot in his special training," he stated.
At least five soldiers were killed and six others wounded after their vehicle ran over a landmine in Bodhei, near Boni Forest in Lamu County.
Their vehicle was extensively damaged during the incident.