Sunday, December 16, 2012
Lt Col Jeff Nyaga narrates experiences on the warfront in Somalia during the KDF Day at Nanyuki Garrison on October 14. He is one of the officers honoured by President Kibaki. Photo
/FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP
President Kibaki has honoured Kenyan soldiers for their role in the war against Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
Also honoured are pilots and crews of a helicopter and aeroplane that crashed outside the war zone while on missions to support Kenya Defence Force operations.
The President also honoured commanders and officers currently on a mission to stabilise Somalia after taking over the port city of Kismayu.
Those currently serving in Operation Linda Nchi who were feted include Col Cyrus Oguna, who has become the face of the army in Somalia through his briefings, and Maj Carolyne Mutisya.
Order of the Burning Spear
Col Oguna, Col Daniel Bartonjo, Col George Ng’ang’a and Col Charles Kahariri have been feted with the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear Third Class.
Col Bartonjo is the deputy sector commander for Kenyan forces in Somalia, Col Oguna is the KDF officer in charge of information, while Col Dr Ng’ang’a, a surgeon, has operated on most of the casualties flown home from the battlefield.
Col Kahariri has been in charge of maritime forces in the Somali operation.
The Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya was awarded to Lt Col Seif Rashid, Lt Col Jeff Nyaga, Col Mohamed Hassan, Lt Col Daniel Rorogu, Lt Col Fredrick Lokia, Lt Col Kipngetich, Major Paul Koech, Major Alfred Olenawankas, Major Joel Maiyo, Major Mutisya, Lt Col Chrispin Ongadi and Lt Col John Omenda.
Lt Col Rashid was instrumental in the first days of Operation Linda Nchi. He led the forces in the capture of Ras Kamboni and Kolbio towns.
Lt Col Nyaga led soldiers in liberating Afmadow.
The Silver Star of Kenya was awarded posthumously to some of the troops who died defending Kenya.
Those awarded posthumously include Lt Evans Kipkorir, Lt Edward Okoyo, Lt Anaminyi Webi, Lt Marti Miheso and Privates Ephraim Gachoki, George Mutua, Isaac Tengerei, Raymond Sang, Willie Gitau and Onesmus Juma.
Lt Okoyo and Lt Webi were shot dead at a patrol base in Delbio on January 22. Lt Webi had graduated top of his class in leadership and command. Lt Miheso of the Kenya Air Force died in a plane crash in Lamu on September 1.
He emerged the second best officer cadet in leadership and command and winner of the Cane of Honour during the 2009 passout.
Most respected fighters
The Head of State’s Commendation medals were given to 46 KDF men, among them six officers.
They include Lt Anthony Maina, Maj Ismail Noor, Capt Abdi Galgalo, Capt Mulili Mulwa, Maj Emmanuel Kaliakamur, Maj George Makau and Lt Samson Bwana.
Maj Kaliakamur has been one of the most respected fighters in the battlefield where he was instrumental in the liberation of Dobley, Tabda and Beles Qoqani while Maj Makau is Kenya’s first priest to go to the battlefield.
The president also honoured civilians including DoD spokesman Bogita Ongeri and Kenya YearBook Editorial Board boss Denis Chebitwey with the OGW.