By Jerome Ogolla Via FB
Reading in an old Sunday Nation newspaper, a newly married KDF officer deployed to the war torn Somalia, is said to have told his wife, that if soldiers visit their home, and he isn’t among them, then they are in a mission to bring the sad news, that he is is dead.
After a week the infantry lieutenant repoterd to his base in Somalia and not long after that, while at their Kakamega home, the wife saw an army Land Rover pull at the gates, and yes, her husband wasn’t among them.
She knew he had been eaten by Al Shabaab. Yesterday morning, the episode replicated here in Soy. Soldiers arrived at the home of their colleague serving in Somalia, and the wife guessed something was amiss!
Her husband was among the seven KDF soldiers, reportedly killed on Saturday, when a truck they were travelling in ran over an IED in Dhobley-Taabto area of lower Jubba.
Today is 12th only two days into the 5th anniversary of the deadly El Adde Attack. This is what I wrote about El Adde.
Once upon a time, with some few friends, we went to an army barracks near home, called Moi Barracks, to look for some mjengo jobs. We met a very hostile sentry at the entrance who kept shouting at us and eventually denied us entry.
We left and went back home but not before I reminded him that were it not for Moi, he would be hunting wild goats and trapping porcupines in Kerio Valley, because that was the only thing he was qualified to do.
He was so enraged and even threatened to shoot us, but again he couldn’t. After some days we met in the market and meeting for the second time, we decided to be good friends because there was absolutely no gain in escalating our enmity. Since then we became good friends with Cheserek.
When reports emerged that a KDF camp he was part of had been overran by Al Shabaab, and only less than a handful of soldiers had survived, I so much wished that he be among these few, because he was such a good friend.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t. Alongside several other friends and soldiers I knew, they were buried one by one and to date the government is yet to come out and tell the nation exactly what transpired,forcing the country to take the propaganda Al Shabaab had propagated about the attack as the truth.
I am not aware of the existence of some law or military traditions that intercepts the government from divulging details of such loses but my belief is that the country is very ignorant about the magnitude of effects the Somalia war on the country.
The toll it has taken on the army which is currently overstretched, the budgetary strains and the suffering the Kenyan sons have underwent and still undergo in Somalia, using a gun and other military hardware, fighting to suppress Islamic extremism, an ideological war, which will least likely be defeated by gunfire.
Kenyan children have been orphaned and women widowed in this senseless war that will never be won anytime. The military will least likely achieve anything more than what they’ve already achieved, as things stand, their continued stay in the horn of Africa may only yield more losses with absolutely no gain.
It should be the business of Somalia to police it’s territory and Kenya should pull out it’s troops and keep them busy patrolling the borders, because it appears there is nothing strategic in continuing to have it’s boots in Somalia.
Kenya could be maintaining their troops there because war is business and someone is digging gold through procurement of weaponry and other supplies for the war etc.
It had been alleged, there could be some other reasons, like the charcoal trade in Kismayu that benefits the military’s senior officials that makes them prolong the military’s stay there and this shouldn’t happen at the expense of the lives of the soldiers.
If you invade a foreign territory, what else do you expect apart from attacks? Venturing there was a grave mistake and it is time to own up. Why should Kenyan troops cross the borders and hide inside APCs waiting to be attacked in a war whose importance only the generals realise?
I am also aware of the frustrations colleagues and families of soldiers who went missing in the attack are undergoing. Soldiers only take orders, without questioning them or complaining but we citizens have every right to ask very hard questions
Bring our sons back home.
Good morning my fellow Hoof-Eaters