, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – A few minutes to 10pm Monday, the military plane carrying four fallen Kenya Defence Forces soldiers touched down at the Wilson Airport to a heroic reception.
The caskets of the four fallen soldiers were each wrapped in the Kenyan flag.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, who was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe and other senior military officers, received the four Kenyan heroes.
Father John Maingi, Major Rev Habil Nakhumwah and Major Imam Abdinoor led in a brief prayer session for the country, the fallen soldiers and the bereaved families.
“It is painful to see what Cain can do to his brother Abel,” one of the chaplains leading in the prayer said as he sought mercy, love and kindness to the fallen soldiers and their families.
“They died for liberty, they died for us. They are at rest… Oh God, by whose mercy the faithful departed, find rest and look kindly at our departed heroes.”
They prayed for the Kenya Defence Forces “to defeat the enemies of our country” and comfort for the left soldiers.
After the prayer session, the bodies were moved to waiting military ambulances and headed to the mortuary, awaiting their final resting place.
CS Omamo explained the rescue and recovery operation was meticulously being carried out for the safety of the soldiers still in Somalia.
“This is a very sombre moment for the Kenya Defence Forces and the country at large,” the CS said. “We emphasise our great appreciation to the people of Kenya that are supporting us with love and compassion through this hard time.”
“We want to handle the operation carefully for the benefit of the families of our soldiers.”
The government has remained tight-lipped on the number of soldiers killed, wounded or missing after the attack.
The CS said more soldiers will continue coming home as the operation continues at El Adde in Gedo region where the attacked occurred on Friday.
Kenyans on social media honour fallen soldiers
Esther @masharia_ May the almighty console and strengthen the family and friends of our fallen heroes. May your sacrifice never be forgotten. #KDFOurHeroes
kimathi ringeera @KRingeera May God heal the pain of survivors and rest the fallen in peace. I’m safe because of you. #KDFOurHeroes
Mbivya Kelvin @Natyvox Somebody create a web app that can have the kdf flag super imposed on our profile pics here and on fb to honor #KDFOurHeroes
Boniface Mwangi @bonifacemwangi On Thursday,21st January,at 5pm,active citizens shall hold a vigil for #KDFOurHeroes at Freedom corner. Bring a candle,flowers. #TeamCourage
Ole Karbolo @karbolo #KDFOurHeroes as a proud son of x-military dad i salute our fallen soldiers #kdf our heroes
Dominic Ndege @DominicNdege #KDFOurHeroes lets pray for them. There is no point of withdrawing from Somali, a soldier fights on, that’s what they sign for. We will win.
Arnoldi® @Arnoldi254 #KDFOurHeroes We Kenyans are forever grateful to our brothers and sisters who have committed their lives for our safety
Dan Karanja @dcaranjah “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” We salute you #KDFOurHeroes #IStandWithKDF
Rosalia Omungo @rayzalia They talk less, act more, act in the best interest of you and I..to ensure you and I stay safe
Hukka Wario @hukkawario #KDFOurHeroes consider days of national mourning during which flags fly at half mast, in honour of our troops who died in the line of duty.