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DOD asks families of missing KDF soldiers to go for DNA tests to help identify bodies

By SILAH KOSKEI AND MICHAEL OLLINGA | Published Sun, January 24th 2016 at 13:00, Updated January 24th 2016 at 13:26 GMT +3
Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces Gen. Samson Mwathethe (left) and Kenya Defence Forces Army Commander Lieutenant General Leonard Ngondi addressing the press at Department Of Defence last week. PHOTO: FILE

ELDORET: The long and agonizing wait for families that had their relatives working as Kenya Defence Forces in El Adde Camp in Somalia could likely come to an end after receiving communication from the Department of Defence (DOD).

Two families in Lelmokwo location Nandi County told The Standard that DOD officials called them on Friday evening and asked them to provide specimen samples at the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi to assist in identifying some of the badly mutilated bodies.

Kipkemoi Kisorio an elder brother to Wesley Kimeli 22 who was part of the 9th Kenya Rifles company that had been deployed in El Adde said they received communication from DOD who asked them to present a family member who will help in the DNA identification process.

"My younger brother traveled in morning and he has called back saying that he has given all the requirements necessary for DNA identification. He was told the results will be given out tomorrow," said Kisorio.

Kisorio expressed hope that the ultimate fate of their brother will be known after the results are given and which would be important in bringing to a closure the long painful suspense over a loved one.

"We are anxious to know what happened to him because friends, relatives and people of goodwill have wanted to help but we cannot say anything because we are uncertain of Wesley's situation. I am hopeful a new development will be out tomorrow," said Kisorio.

Elijah Kosgei whose brother Abraham Kosgei a KDF Sergeant Officer in the company deployed to Somalia said they had received similar information late Friday evening and he was planning to travel to Nairobi on Monday to give required information and samples.

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"The wait has been traumatizing to us and this development gives some hope in knowing the fate of my brother. I will travel to Defence Forces Memorial Hospital on Monday and give the necessary details and samples and hopefully we will get a hint of what happened," said Kosgei.

However, Charles Obwoge's family is still in the dark over the fate of his son Major Geoffrey Obwoge who was the commander of the El Adde camp.

Charles says since the attack happened last Friday they have not gotten any information about their son's fate despite him being a commander of the entire camp that was ambushed by the Al Shabaab militants.

"My other son has been at Defence Forces Memorial Hospital and gave all the details and contacts and my daughter in-law had gone to Recruits Training School in Moi Barracks twice but we are yet to get any new developments," Charles said.

Mr Charles Obwoge and his wife Elizabeth Obwoge had on Friday afternoon traveled from Gucha in Kisii County to Eldoret to visit their son's wife Rhoda Nyabicha and were on their way back when they spoke to The Standard on Sunday.

"We yesterday went to Moi Barracks and all they said is that they also don't know where our son is and will communicate when they get any update. It continues to be a tough moment where you have to just imagine where your child could be," said Charles.

Elizabeth added that; ""He was in charge of the squad and we hoped we would get information about him quickly, our need is to know the truth, whether he is alive, dead or kidnapped so that we can settle and know what to do next."

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