A pilot of the Kenya Air Force plane which was running sorties inside Somalia is still missing almost 24 hours after being shot in an area believed to be controlled by Al-Shabaab. Major Jonathan Kingu Otongo was flying the F-5 fighter jet when the plane was struck by what is believed to be Al-Shabaab’s anti-aircraft missiles. But the Kenyan government claim that the plane developed mechanical problems and just went down in “enemy territory.” The pilot is believed to have ejected as his seat is also missing after the crash.
It is so amazing that Al-Shabaab controls a territory which the AU mission could not immediately access and extract an injured colleague.
Major Jonathan Kingu was awarded the Order of Golden Warrior commendation by President Uhuru last year. He is one of the most decorated fighter pilots Kenya has. According to KDF soldiers aware of the happenings, the Kenyan army has no capacity currently to mount an extraction mission inside an enemy territory. Such a mission would require layers of defense around the extracting aircraft, something which Kenya cannot afford now.
Al-Shabaab is believed to have a cache of heat-seeking missiles and pick-up mounted anti-aircraft weapons in its armoury. According to KDF, Al_Shabaab burnt the jet after it went down in the enemy territory.