Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-affiliated group based in Somalia, on Thursday released a video in which they purportedly paraded the weapons and personal effects of Kenyan soldiers killed last month.
The 29-minute online video shows the aftermath of the attack at El Adde, an African Union base in Somalia attacked on Jan. 15, and a man claiming to be an al-Shabaab commander talking to the camera in Swahili, one of Kenya’s official languages.
After scenes showing the bodies of Kenyan soldiers and militants taking captured armored personnel carriers, the “commander” says: “As I am seated here, only the turban on my head belongs to me but my gun, coat… the military uniform I have belongs to a Kenyan soldier who had a gun with the serial number 490.”
The attack has had a severe impact in Kenya, with images of soldiers’ funerals filling TV screens and newspaper front pages in the following days.
So far, 35 soldiers have been repatriated for burial but al-Shabaab claims to have killed more than 60.
In the video, a copy of which was seen by an Anadolu Agency correspondent, the al-Shabaab leader shows off Kenyan identity cards he claims belonged to slain soldiers.
George Musamali, a security analyst specializing in east Africa, said the video was aimed at undermining public support for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.
“This is basically targeting the public and they want to send a message of fear, trying to tell Kenya that they have an upper hand in this war in Somalia and that the Kenyan military have no business in Somalia,” he said. “They are trying to incite members of the public to push the government to withdraw their forces from Somalia.”
He said the propaganda would receive greater traction because of the lack of information provided by the Kenyan government and questioned whether the ID cards belonged to the soldiers.
Kenyan officials declined to comment on the video.
Partial download of: https://ia801502.us.archive.org/21/items/itaw-kateib/Itakuwaa.mp4