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Saturday, December 03, 2016

Amisom releases photos of El Adde attack, says it is 'payback time'

The AMISOM Acting Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara, tours a Kenyan Defence Force base camp in El-Adde, a town in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia, on January 22, 2016. AMISOM Photo/ Abdisalan Omar
The AMISOM Acting Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara, tours a Kenyan Defence Force base camp in El-Adde, a town in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia, on January 22, 2016. AMISOM Photo/ Abdisalan Omar

Amisom has released photos of the El Adde attack, including those of a vehicle-borne device that exploded on the camp's perimeter causing a fire.

The photos and video clips on the mission's website also show mounds of earth, charred tanks and what was left after al Shabaab attacked KDF soldiers in Somalia on January 15.

Green sacks and drums likely used to store fuel, are also shown scattered around the camp.

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The AMISOM Acting Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara, plants a tree at the Sector Two base during a working visit to Dobley, Somalia on January 23, 2016. AMISOM Photo/ Abdisalan Omar

Also among the images are those of Kenya Defence Forces troops seated in their camps, devising ways to counter the al Qaeda-linked militants.

In a video, a soldier is heard explaining to his seniors that the militants took their hardware including Land Rovers, and then adding "KDF bombed and killed the militants".

The African Union Mission in Somalia is a peace-enforcing, not a peacekeeping, mission, said acting Force commander Major General Nakibus Lakara.

"Casualties do arise given the nature of the task at hand. Amisom troops’ onus was to minimise those casualties by taking out the enemy," Lakara said.

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The AMISOM Acting Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara, greets a wounded KDF soldier during a working visit to Dobley, Somalia on January 23, 2016. AMISOM Photo/ Abdisalan Omar

He added: "For lasting peace to be achieved, the Somali people must reject and extract al Shabaab terrorists from their midst. Only by doing this will they rid themselves of terror. This cannot be left to Amisom only."

Lakara asked the troops to restrategise based on the El Adde ambush which he said "should embolden, strengthen and motivate us".

"We shall re-strategise. Our defences must now become offensive by nature. It is pay-back time, we shall win this war, and the Somali people shall be free."

Lakara spoke during a visit to the camp and other forward Amisom bases in Sectors Two and Three on Wednesday evening.

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Kenyan Defence Forces serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) man their position at El-Adde in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia on January 22, 2016. AMISOM Photo/ Abdisalan Omar

Chief of Operations Mutacho Othieno, Chief Military Information Officer, Colonel Caesar Bahwezi and Force Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Paul Njuguna were among those who accompanied him.

Al Shabaab has carried out several attacks in Kenya, the deadliest being the Garissa University College massacre of 147 on April 2, 2015.

The official number of casualties Kenya suffered in the Somalia attack has not been released but the terror group placed the figure at 100.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday that the country is committed to remaining part of the mission for peace and stability in Somalia.

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The AMISOM Acting Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara, addresses AMISOM KDF soldiers at El-Adde town in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia on January 23, 2016. AMISOM Photo/ Abdisalan Omar

He attended a memorial service alongside Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Somalia's Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud in Eldoret on Wednesday.

"This is not the time to waiver or to listen to the voices of defeat and despair," Reuters quoted him as saying.

"We fight because our cause is just, because we want to restore a productive peace in Somalia and we also wish to protect ourselves from an enemy that would seek to destroy us."

Mohamoud repeatedly thanked the Kenyan people for their assistance in his government's fight against al Shabaab, which he called "barbaric devils."

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Kenyan Defence Force serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) listen to the AMISOM Acting Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara, during a working visit to El-Adde town in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia on January 22, 2016. AMISOM Photo/ Abdisalan Omar

"I want to assure you, we will defeat them," he said.

Buhari, whose country is facing an insurgency from Boko Haram, expressed solidarity with Kenya, saying Nigerians "share your pain and grief."

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Kenyan Defence Forces serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) man their position at El-Adde in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia on January 22, 2016. AMISOM Photo/ Abdisalan Omar

2016_01_22_El_Adde-9Kenyan Defence Force serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) listen to the AMISOM Acting Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara, during a working visit to El-Adde town in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia on January 22, 2016. AMISOM Photo/ Abdisalan Omar​

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