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Latest al-Shabab killings stir demand for withdrawal of Kenyan troops from Somalia

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Latest attacks of deadly terrorist group, al-Shabab on Kenyan soldiers in Kilgoris, south-western Kenya has stirred the demands of withdrawal of Kenya troops from Somalia by Kenyans.

The attack, which killed 35 year-old Kenyan soldier, Mr. Johnson ole Kiyaipi, and nine of his associates have left families of the deceased frustrated as there has been no official statement on the attack.

“How many other young men are we going to lose before our boys are brought back home? How many more families should bear the pain of this war fought in distant lands?” asked Johnson’s elder brother, Dr Joel ole Kiyiapi.

“If our boys should die, they should die protecting our country within our borders.”

In January, the U.S. military says its troop withdrawal from Somalia is complete, in one of the last actions of President Donald Trump’s presidency.

Report from Kenya says “family members of soldiers are angry about the government’s silence when Kenyan troops die in action. They say the blackout and lack of public honouring is disrespectful. The authorities have not explained why they keep quiet about military deaths.”

Wife of one of the slain soldiers, who could not hold back her tears while her scribbled tribute for the late husband was read out by a friend: “Your children and I will miss you and your lovely smile. Shine on your way my love,” the speech read.

Another relative of the deceased, Prof.  Kiyaipi said he was surprised there was no debate amongst lawmakers or the public about the goal of Kenyan forces in Somalia.

“We need to rethink our strategy and have a clear end-date for our troops there. It cannot be an indefinite mission and we sure can’t afford to keep losing our young men in this war,” he told newsmen.

“Every fallen soldier is a father, a son, a daughter. The president needs to publicly acknowledge our heroes,” he continued.

“We are the taxpayers and the government has a responsibility of being open,” he said.

Kenyan troops have suffered many attacks from the deadly al-Shabab. In 2021, a massive bomb attack in Lamu County near the Somali border targeting a Kenyan military convoy killed fifteen soldiers. There have been several other attacks that have left hundreds of soldiers dead with al-Shabab claiming responsibility.

Kenya Defence Forces entered southern Somalia 2011 years ago under a special operation called The Operation Linda Nchi . The Kenyan government declared the operation completed in March 2012, but its forces then joined AMISOM in Somalia with Kenya forces still on ground.

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South African serial rapist gets four life imprisonment terms

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A South African serial rapist and killer, Philani Justice Nkosi, has been sentenced to four life imprisonment terms by a Mpumalanga High Court for rape and murder.

The court also sentenced the 35-year-old to 15 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of murdering one of his victims who recognised him.

Nkosi was sentenced on Friday after the court found him guilty of one count of murder, three counts of rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa, who expressed satisfaction with the sentence, said Nkosi committed the offences between 2014 and 2018 in Bhuga Trust and Halfway Trust in KaBokweni.

“In one incident which stands out, the accused attacked a 12-year-old victim while she was on the way to the local shop. He dragged her to the nearby bush, raped and strangled her to death,” Nyuswa said.

“He also raped another woman in March 2016, stabbed and robbed her of cash.

“The accused continued with his crime spree until December 2018 when he raped an adult woman who was on her way home from work.

“The matter was reported to the police, and the accused was subsequently arrested and linked to other crimes through DNA,” Nyuswa said.

Nkosi who pleaded not guilty to the crimes, claimed the two rape survivors were prostitutes and that the deceased was his girlfriend.

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Tanzanian court sentences 11 people to death for killing South African conservationist

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A Tanzanian High Court has sentenced 11 people to death after they were found guilty of killing a South African conservationist, Wayne Lotter, who was murdered in Dar es Salaam in 2017.

The convicts include nine Tanzanians and two citizens of neighbouring Burundi.

The victim was a renowned anti-poaching activist who was singled out by the convicts for disrupting their illegal poaching activities, according to prosecutors while testifying in court on Friday.

State prosecutors told Judge Leila Mgonya that the 51-year-old Lotter who was based in Tanzania, was a founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO which worked to stop the poaching of elephants and trafficking of ivory in the East African country.

He was shot dead in Dar es Salaam when the taxi he was travelling in was ambushed and though the exact motive for his killing is still unknown, his colleagues believe he was singled out for his work on protecting elephants, local media reports.

While handing down the death sentences, Judge Mgonya said there was compelling evidence that linked the 11 to the two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and murder on which they were charged

“Some of the suspects, in their statements recorded by police officers, confessed to have taken part in the conspiracy meetings and in killing. The evidence provided was strong enough to convict them,” the judge said.

Tanzania is one of the worst hit African countries in terms of elephant poaching, with a data released early this year noting that more than 66,000 elephants have been lost in the last 10 years due to the activities of illegal poachers.

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