Lamu (Caasimada Online) – A tragic event unfolded near the border of Kenya and Somalia, as a military helicopter crash resulted in the death of at least eight individuals.
The incident took place in Lamu County, situated in coastal Kenya, where the Kenyan defense forces are actively involved in operations to counteract the activities of the al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab.
As provided by credible security agents—who wished to remain anonymous due to restrictions on speaking with the press—the helicopter had no survivors.
Every military personnel and crew onboard tragically lost their lives.
The Kenyan Department of Defense (DoD) confirmed this grim event, revealing that the crash occurred during a night patrol mission.
In their official statement, the DoD announced the initiation of a comprehensive investigation.
“A Board of Inquiry has been constituted and dispatched to the scene to establish the cause of the crash,” they shared.
However, one ambiguity that remains is the exact number of casualties.
While the security agents have cited a specific number, the DoD refrained from mentioning an explicit count even as they expressed their condolences to the affected families.
Kenyan presence in Somalia
To fully understand the gravity and context of this event, it’s imperative to explore Kenya’s role in the neighboring nation of Somalia.
Kenyan troops have been present in Somalia since 2011, operating under the banner of the African Union Transition Mission. Their primary objective was to assist in the combat against al-Shabab.
However, the dynamic in the region is undergoing a notable shift.
There’s an ongoing discourse regarding the withdrawal of the multinational forces from Somalia, entrusting the Somali military with the sole responsibility of ensuring their nation’s security.
This transition comes in light of the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as Somalia’s president in May of the previous year, followed by a consequential offensive against al-Shabab by the Somali military.
Yet, it’s crucial to recognize that al-Shabab’s retaliations have been vehement, with a marked surge in attacks within Kenya, leading to the deaths of dozens in the border areas.
Although its cause remains to be determined, the recent helicopter crash underscores the volatility and challenges that define the Kenyan-Somali border region.
As investigations continue, the incident serves as a grim reminder of the ongoing conflict and the price paid by those who strive for peace in the region.