, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 24 – A District Officer who was abducted alongside an Immigration official from Wajir district in mid January has appeared in a video recording urging the Kenyan government to call off its military operation in Somalia to enable their release.
Yesse Mule Edward is seen making the plea in the 16-minute video that was released by Al Shabaab’s media wing Al Kataib.
He appealed directly to President Mwai Kibaki to abandon the Operation Linda Nchi mission in Somalia, saying that is the only way they can be set free.
“I am urging the Kenyan government and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to please move out of Somalia, because Somalia is not our country. Somalia is a neighbour, what we should be doing is cultivating good neighbourliness. How many more Kenyans are we willing to sacrifice in a war that is not ours?” he wondered.
Mule and Fredrick Irungu, a clerk at the Ministry of Immigration were captured when Al Shabaab militants raided a police post in Wajir on January 11, where six people including three Administration Policemen were killed.
Mule who appears distressed and fearful in the recording also urged Kenyans to convince the government to abandon the operation to prevent harm to other Kenyans and even soldiers who are dying in the Operation Linda Nchi mission.
He also accused the Kenya Defence Forces of misinformation on the actual picture on the ground, saying it is worse as many Kenyans continue to die in the operation.
“I was hoping to have a great future but with these circumstances that future seems dimmed unless the government just takes drastic measures on convincing the Al Shabaab and Mujahedeen that I and Wainaina need to be released,” he pleaded.
In the video, the Al Kataib is warning Kenyans to pressure the government to move out of Somalia.
“The life of Mule Yesse depends on you the Kenyan public. It is up to you to heed his advice or send him to the guillotine. The choice is yours, and remember; Mule Yesse is not the only Kenyan PoW,’ Al Kataib warns.
Mule who appeared on the video recording alone could not hold back his tears when he recalled happier times with his family, friends, colleagues and schoolmates.
Military spokesman Cyrus Oguna on Saturday said the military was still in the process of setting up a rescue operation.
He said that the military knew the exact location of those who had been kidnapped but had to review the situation with the help of local religious leaders, before going in.
The video has been released as world leaders wrapped up a conference in London where it was agreed that the term of the Transitional Federal Government should not be renewed when it ends in August.
President Kibaki was among those at the talks.
This week, the African Union Mission in Somalia got a boost when the force was increased from 12,000 to 17,000 officers. Kenyan Defence Forces have also been given the mandate to operate under AMISOM.