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Troops search for missing men

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Photo/FILE Col Cyrus Oguna.

African Union forces which captured Somalia’s port city of Kismayu on Friday are looking for two Kenyans kidnapped in Wajir by Al-Shabaab militants early this year.

The two, district officer Edward Yesse Mule, 30, and registration clerk with the Registrar of Persons Fredrick Irungu Wainaina, 56, have not been traced since January.

On Sunday, the officer in charge of information at Kenya Defence Forces, Col Cyrus Oguna said efforts were being made to trace the whereabouts of Mr Mule and Mr Wainaina and three other Kenyans working for an NGO abducted in Puntland.

“Now that we are here (Kismayu), that is part of what we are working on. They are Kenyans and they have not been forgotten,” Col Oguna said.

Apart from the two government officials, eight other Kenyans are believed to be in the hands of Al-Shabaab, among them two soldiers.

However, Col Oguna told the Nation the two soldiers were considered missing in action as they disappeared before the start of Operation Linda Nchi.

“We are aware of the DO and the registrar. Three other Kenyans working with an NGO were abducted in northern Mogadishu near Puntland and it could be by other militants and not Al-Shabaab,” Col Oguna said.

Mr Mule’s sister, Ms Jane Mwanajuma, prayed for the rescue of her brother.

“God help my brother who is still in custody of the Al-Shabaab. I just hope he will never lose hope as that is all we can hold on too,” wrote Ms Mwanajuma on her Facebook page.

Since their kidnapping, families of the two government officials have been living in anguish not knowing their fate even as the government announced it was making frantic efforts to rescue them.

Mr Mule was the Burderi DO.

A month after the abduction of Mr Mule and Mr Wainaina, the Al-Shabaab released a 16-minute video in which the DO begged the government to heed his captors’ demands and pull KDF forces out of Somalia.

Earlier intelligence reports had indicated that most Kenyan hostages were not actually in Kismayu but in a town near it.

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