President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised to scale up offensive operations against Al Shabaab in Somalia after the militants overrun an AU base killing Kenyan soldiers in large numbers.
The insurgents claim to have killed over 100 soldiers in one attack, some of whose bodies have been flown home for burial.
Speaking at Lango Baya Primary School grounds in Kilifi County yesterday, Kenyatta emphasised the need for quick revenge swearing that “they (terrorists) will have no time to breathe.”
Kenyatta also ruled out the withdrawal of troops from Somalia, saying he would seek a broader coalition with neighbouring countries against the Islamist group.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Kenyatta comforted the the families of the Kenya Defence Forces soldiers who laid down their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the face of terror at El Adde in Somalia.
“These enemies of humanity struck at brave patriots, who are in Somalia to protect our families, our nation, and the world. Our fallen Heroes are returning home. The injured are in the care of our medical staff. As their Commander-in-Chief, and as a parent, my heart goes out to them, and to their grieving families. Let us come together in prayer for all of them.”
He, however, urged Kenyans to remain “unbowed” saying KDF was already conducting intense search, rescue and recovery operations, to make sure the fallen and injured heroes are all brought home.
“That said, we are determined and committed to pursuing those criminals who perpetrated this act and ensure that they shall pay heavily for their crime.”
He said Kenya will not know peace so long as this threat of terror exists in the region.
“We, therefore, today, once again, reaffirm our resolve to stand with the international community to free Somalia from the oppression of terrorist groups.”
He said the task demands that Kenya must unite as a nation and stand shoulder to shoulder, and face together the enemy of humanity.
“Let us rally behind our gallant soldiers. Let us thank God for them and ask for His protection and guidance over them. To all Kenyans, let us insist that our national security knows no politics, religion or ethnic boundaries: Only the unity and resolve of a peace loving people.”
He said Kenya will not be shaken nor deterred by the actions of “these criminals”.
“To those misguided elements, who think their cowardly actions have shaken us, let me tell them today that their actions have only made us stronger and emboldened us in our determination to defeat them.”
He said the Ministry of Defence and the Kenya Defence Forces will proceed with the burial plans in line with military traditions.