Willis Raburu recalls intense experience working with KDF troops for one month

Raburu watched as KDF captured Al Shabaab's logistics stronghold.

Citizen TV's Willis Raburu

Citizen TV’s Willis Raburu has recalled his experience camping with Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia when he was sent on assignment in 2012.

Raburu was embedded into a KDF troop for about one month, witnessing the war against the Al Shabaab from the front line.

As he recorded daily accounts of how the soldiers went about their duties, he had to also don military fatigues and paraphernalia to camouflage and blend in with the troops.

A fresh into my career I was thrust into a very important assignment. Being part of history as for about a month or so I was embedded with the Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia for Kenya’s maiden entry into Operation Linda Nchi. It was intense living with KDF and watching all the action from the frontline on land, air and sea,” Raburu recalled.

At the time, KDF was making plans to capture Afmadhow, which was considered to be the logistics stronghold of the Al Shabaab.

During one of the missions, the convoy (about 100 vehicles) the media personality was travelling in was ambushed by a group of terrorists.

The exchange of gunfire resulted in the death of 10 militants and the capture of 2 suspected Al Shabaab terrorists who would provide intel to KDF.

After the capture of Afmadhow, the KDF and the Somali National Army embarked on restoring normalcy in the town that served as a logistics base for the militia.

Other journalists who have had the chance to film Kenyan soldiers on the war front include Judy Kosgei, Enock Sikolia, Dennis Okari, Leila Mohammed, Hassan Mugambi and Frankling Macharia.

More troops to Somalia

In 2020, the British High Commission said it would be working with Kenyan troops to send about 600 soldiers to Somalia.

"The UK has a crucial, long-standing defence relationship with Kenya and we support their work to promote peace and stability across East Africa.

"We are also working with the African Union (AU) to build its’, and member states’, capacity to prevent, manage and respond to conflicts in Africa, enhancing the capability of Troop Contributing Countries like Kenya participating in AU or United Nation peacekeeping missions such as AMISOM," British Deputy High Commissioner Julius Court stated.

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