News / Africa

    Kenya President: Al-Shabab Will Pay 'Heavy Price'

    FILE - Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta prepares to inspect a guard of honor before the opening of the 11th Parliament at the National Assembly Chamber in Nairobi, April 16, 2013.
    FILE - Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta prepares to inspect a guard of honor before the opening of the 11th Parliament at the National Assembly Chamber in Nairobi, April 16, 2013.

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed al-Shabab militants will pay “a heavy price” for the attack Friday that reportedly killed dozens of Kenyan soldiers in southern Somalia.

    Speaking in a nationwide broadcast Tuesday, Kenyatta said Kenya is “unbowed."

    The flag-draped caskets of four Kenyan soldiers killed in Friday's attack arrived at Nairobi's Wilson Airport late Monday. Top military officials were there to receive the bodies.

    Al-Shabab has said it killed up to 100 Kenyan soldiers in its attack on an African Union base in the Somali town of El-Adde. There has been no independent confirmation of the claim and Kenyan officials have not released any casualty figures.

    Members of the Kenya Defense Forces carry caskets of their comrades serving in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), who were killed during an attack last week on a military base in the west of Somalia near the Kenyan border by Somalia's al-Shabab.
    Members of the Kenya Defense Forces carry caskets of their comrades serving in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), who were killed during an attack last week on a military base in the west of Somalia near the Kenyan border by Somalia's al-Shabab.

     

    Kenyatta said, “As I speak to you today, our defense forces are conducting intense search, rescue and recovery operations to make sure we bring home our fallen and our injured heroes that have been and remain our key priority."

    Kenyatta reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment in stabilizing Somalia and vowed to take the fight to al-Shabab.

    “We are determined and committed to pursuing those criminals who perpetrated this act and to ensure that they shall pay heavily for their crime. Our soldiers did not die in vain," he said.

    On Tuesday, Kenyan troops retook control of El-Adde without a fight after al-Shabab members slipped away into rural areas. Most residents of the small town have fled, fearing more attacks.

    Father awaits news of son

    The father of a Kenyan soldier who has been missing since the attack spoke to VOA's Somali Service of his family's worry and heartbreak.

    Abdinasir Issa Abdi, 23, is part of 9th Kenya Rifles unit that arrived in El-Adde just two days before the attack.

    His father, Issa Abdi, said his son departed another base on January 4 as part of a troop rotation and sent him a message nine days later to say that he had arrived safely.

    “He sent me a message saying he is in El-Adde and is doing fine,” he said Tuesday in a telephone interview.

    Two days later al-Shabab attacked the base. “We heard they were attacked, that soldiers were killed, and they are scattered,” Abdi said.

    He rang his son’s phone, but there was no reply. Abdi says he now fears the worst but does not know what exactly happened. The government is not giving out any concrete information, he says.

    Abdi, who is an ethnic Somali from Wajir, ruled out travelling to Somalia.

    “I’m not the government, I can’t go to Somalia, I don’t know the people. I guess those who captured [the base] are Somalis. Allah may save him.”

    Kenyan troops working with the African Union have battled al-Shabab inside Somalia since October 2011.

    The Islamist militant group has since carried out several major terrorist attacks in Kenya, including shooting rampages at Westgate Mall in Nairobi and Garissa University College. The Garissa attack in April was the deadliest, killing 148 people.

    Some sectors of the Kenyan society are calling for the withdrawal of the Kenyan army from Somalia, but President Kenyatta is appealing to Kenyans to unite.

    “Every Kenyan must understand that this war demands our unity as a nation and we must stand shoulder to shoulder and face together the enemy of humanity," he said.

    You May Like

    Brexit Vote Triggers Increase in Racist Attacks

    Britain's decision to leave European Union seen by some as 'permission' to unleash anti-immigrant resentment

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    AIIB Takes Big Strides Amid Fears About China's Dominance

    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank says it is independent, but concerns persist; China holds 20.6 percent of bank's shares, others have less than 7.5 percent each

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Xamar-Weyne, Somalia
    January 20, 2016 11:49 PM
    Genuine Somali people are very grateful the security help they receive from Kenyan troops. Their sacrifice will be kept in our heart and memory for centuries to come. Those troops who got killed last week were deliberately letdown by both Kenyan and Somali governments. Uhuru Kenyatta's vow to destroy Al Shabaab is an empty threat and hoax. He should be doing something practical: fire the minister of defense and top general of the country, and stop now uttering empty political rhetoric.

    by: Joseph Mbariah from: Tanzania
    January 20, 2016 10:02 AM
    If KDF repatriate from Somali,the al-Shabaab will take advantage of exploiting Kenyan border towns now and then. And there w`ll be no any way of following them again into there country,because this will be termed as invading by united nation laws.The only thing now is to hit this inhuman creatures hard especially there bases.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmarki
    X
    John Owens
    June 26, 2016 2:04 PM
    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora