Security - Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) said Friday claims by the Somali militant group that it had executed one of the six hostages in its custody was a “blatant disregard for human life and dignity”.
“It has come to the attention of the KDF that Al Shabaab claims to have executed a KDF soldier. Though this claim cannot be verified, KDF strongly condemns the alleged execution,” KDF said.
The Al Shabaab has been demanding the release of its members held in Kenya over a series of terrorist bombings in the capital since October 2011, when troops crossed the border in pursuit of the group.
KDF Spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna, said despite the execution, the government’s resolve to end the crisis in Somalia was strengthened.
“It is government policy that it would not negotiate with terrorists. We want Kenyans to rally behind the peace efforts in Somalia,” Col. Oguna told PANA.
The Al Shabaab has threatened to execute five more Kenyan hostages within the next 72 hours should the Kenyan government fail to release its members in custody.
“This action (execution) is to intimidate Kenyans but it will reinforce the resolve of the people of Kenya to bring an end to the situation,” Col. Oguna reiterated.
The Kenyan military vowed to remain committed to the protection of what it called the 'hard won' security gains, principally to downgrade Al Shabaab's military capability.
'The further threats to execute other Kenyans in their custody shows continued blatant disregard by the Al Shabaab on human life and dignity,' he stated.
Earlier, speaking during the graduation of officer cadets, Kenya's Chief of Defence Forces, Julius Karangi, said the troops in Somalia were meant to stay until peace is restored there.
Meanwhile, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has vowed to fight the Al Shabaab 'scourge until victory.'