By Magdalene Mukami
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – The family of a soldier held by al-Qaeda-linked militants for over a year begged for his release on Saturday after terrorists released a video of the captive.
“I have no job. Ndanyi was our main breadwinner. He fended for us and his own family. He took care of our hospital bills and bought us medicine,” Dr. Epainitus Kilasi, the father of senior Pvt. Alfred Danyi Kilasi, told the Daily Nation newspaper.
The father implored the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure his son’s safe release.
Somalia-based al-Shabaab militants late Friday released a video of the solider, who was captured during the January 2016 El-Adde attack on a Kenyan military base that left more than 100 Kenyan soldiers killed.
In the video, the private, attached to African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces, pleaded with his country to facilitate his safe return home to the East African nation.
“We are pleading with the Kenyan public to come together for this dilemma that we are faced with,” said the soldier, speaking on behalf of himself and other prisoners.
“We are suffering in Somalia and we need your assistance, we are pleading and crying to you our president to help us. You have been the leader of Kenya since we were deployed to Somalia,” he added, saying that he joined the Kenyan military in 2010.
The Kenya Defense Forces entered Somalia back in 2012 under AMISOM forces in retaliation to the kidnapping of four aid workers, including two Spanish nationals kidnapped in northeastern Kenya.