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Earlier today The Somali War Monitor received a press release from Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujahideen (HSM) containing images of personal Identification documents belonging to some 10 burundian soldiers .
The soldiers were killed in fierce battle to capture “dayniile”, one of the last Al Shabaab administered districts in Mogadishu, but instead were lured into a trap; atlease 78 died and many more were injured, it was AMISOM’s single biggest loss since it took over from Ethiopia in 2009.
In a recent report by the New York Times Cpl. Arcade Arakaza, a Burundian serviceman Injured in the battle describing the ambush said:
“It started off easy, too easy,” groaned Cpl. Arcade Arakaza, a Burundian peacekeeper, from a hospital bed in Nairobi.
There was little resistance, with a few Shabab fighters fleeing in front of them. Civilians smiled from the bullet-riddled doorways, saying things like, “Don’t worry, Shabab finished.”
But suddenly the entire neighborhood opened up on the peacekeepers with assault rifles, belt-fed machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, “women, kids, everyone,” Corporal Arakaza said. It was a classic envelope trap, with the Shabab drawing the peacekeepers deeper into their lair, sealing off the escape routes and then closing in from all sides.
Piling on the pressure
AMISOM in all probability bewildered by the casualty numbers aired by national and international media; since then in a press release admitted that only “10 of its soldiers have been killed” and that “2 are missing in action.”
Releatives of the deceased soldiers were angered by the silence of the Burundian Government as to the fate of their loved ones.
(AP) : “Family members in the central African nation are awaiting word from the Burundian government, which has so far refused to publicly disclose its losses. The silence has angered families even as Burundi’s government is affirming its commitment to the AU mission in Somalia, calling on the troops to “increase effort and vigilance” until al-Shabab is defeated.
“I was expecting a prompt reaction from the government or army,” said Leonard Nininahazwe, the slain peacekeeper’s older brother. Nininahazwe wonders how to raise his brother’s 5-month-old son Joe, whose mother died giving birth to him.”
With this release of the first patch of ID’s detailing the slain soldiers , Al Shabaab are certainly piling on the pressure on the Burundian government in particular , urging the families to get in contact directly with the group no later than the 20th of Decemeber.
For Immediate Release
Details of Some of the Burundian Soldiers Killed in Somalia
Mogadishu, Somalia (12/12/2011) – In response to requests from some families in Burundi, Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen has decided to publish the details of some of the Burundian soldiers killed during the heavy battles in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
With lack of verification from the Burundian Army, family members of the slain soldiers have contacted Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen in an appeal to confirm the fate of their missing soldiers. Responding to the pleas of ten families in Burundi, attached here are the identity cards and a supplementary table detailing the full names, ranks, specialities, dates of birth, town, province, vital statistics, badge numbers, blood groups, and religious beliefs of the soldiers.
Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen also opens the doors of communication to all families in Burundi who suspect that their sons have been killed in Somalia and those willing to discover the fate of their missing soldiers. Families can file for a Missing Soldier Verification Request by forwarding the full name of the missing soldier to the War Statistics Office (WSO), quoting reference number BR/4539, no later than the 20th of December 2011. Contact details are listed below.
- 10 images of ID cards plus 1 certificate
- PDF sheet with complete soldiers’ details
Press Office War Statistics Office (WSO)
Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen
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