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Dec 22nd
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Home News News KDF's picture mix up: Propaganda gone wrong or plain gaffe?

KDF's picture mix up: Propaganda gone wrong or plain gaffe?

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The war between Kenya Defence Force (KDF) and the Somali militants Al shabaab has not only been fought inside Somalia but also in the social media.
Different social media have provided a platform for spokespeople of the groups involved in the war to air their opinion and also brief the media on the progress of the war so far.

One such person who has utilized the social media greatly is KDF official spokesperson, Major Emmanuel Chirchir who has been frequently giving briefings on how KDF has captured various towns in Somalia and how many Al Shabaab militants have been killed so far.

However, Major Chirchir's credibility plunged Wednesday when he tweeted pictures of a Kenyan Al Shabaab militant being stoned to death in Kismayu.

According to the KDF spokesperson, the recruit from Majengo, Nairobi was whipped and stoned to death after he differed on opinion with the militants.

“Dead after being stoned....Recruit Kenyans kill them if you differ on opinion,” the major wrote on his official Twitter account @MajorEChirchir.

But a closer look at the pictures indicated that they were actually taken by the associated press and were published in the Mail Online on 15 December 2009.

According to the Mail Online, the pictures show a group of Islamic militants who forced villages to watch as they stoned a man for adultery and not for differing in opinion as alleged by KDF spokesperson in his tweeter account.

On the other hand the group responsible is Hizbul Islam not Al Shabaab and the stoning took place in Afgoye, some 20 miles south-west of the capital Mogadishu not Kismayu.

While responding to Chirchir tweets, HSM Press, the official tweeter page for the militants noted that incompetence transcends all possible limits this time and highlights amount of lies dispensed in order to hide the truth.

“No executions were carried out in Kismayo. For those interested: the incident took place in 2009, the man wasn’t Kenyan it wasn’t in Kismayo, and it wasn’t HSM,” tweeted HSM Press.

HSM press further tweeted; “They seem unsophisticated, even in their propaganda campaign. A simple Google search would have saved them such an embarrassment.”

After droves of bloggers and social media users assailed the Major with criticism, he posted a tweet to apologise the posting an old photo.

It now remains to be seen how Major Chirchir's superiors will handle the embarrassing incident which has threatened the credibility and authenticity of information disseminated by the KDF spokesperson.


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