Why did Kenya invade Somalia?
Kenyan soldiers climb into a truck as they prepare to advance near Liboi in Somalia, on October 18, 2011, near Kenya's border town with Somalia. Kenyan jets struck in Somalia on October 18 in a bid to rid the border area of Islamist rebels blamed for a spate of abductions, including that of a French woman who died in captivity, officials said. (Getty Images)
November 5th, 2011
10:53 AM ET

Why did Kenya invade Somalia?

Editor's Note: Critical Questions is produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Richard Downie is a fellow and deputy director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. The views expressed in this piece are solely those of Richard Downie. 

Kenya is in the third week of a major military offensive inside neighboring Somalia. Called “Operation Protect the Nation,” it is Kenya’s largest military operation since independence in 1963. Around 1,600 troops are sweeping through areas of Southern Somalia controlled by the extremist Islamist group, al Shabaab. The Kenyan air force has also been in action, launching bombing raids on insurgent bases. Kenya’s military spokesman has even used his twitter account to warn residents living near al Shabaab camps in 10 towns to take shelter against imminent attacks.

Q: Why did Kenya invade?

Richard Downie: Kenyans have gotten increasingly alarmed about Somalia’s chronic instability, which has spilled over its borders. One manifestation of this instability is Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya, which receives Somalis fleeing the humanitarian crisis in their own country. Numbers at this camp have swelled to almost 450,000 because of the famine conditions in parts of Southern Somalia.

The Kenyan authorities were dismayed in October when two Spanish aid workers were kidnapped from the camp and taken into Somalia, prompting relief operations to be scaled back. But probably the final straw was the series of raids on coastal resorts by Somali criminals that preceded the attack in Dadaab. First, a British man was shot dead and his wife snatched from a beach resort close to the Somali border. Second, a disabled pensioner from France was seized near Lamu and taken to Somalia, where she subsequently died. Her kidnappers have demanded a ransom for her body.

Read: Restart of U.S.-DPRK negotiations.

Tourism is critical to Kenya’s economy, and the country is entering peak holiday season. We don’t actually know if al Shabaab was responsible for these kidnappings. Indeed, the Kenyans claim they were planning a military incursion long before they happened. But it’s clear that they helped focus Kenyan minds on the seriousness of the Somali problem and underlined the need to take action.

What is the military objective?

In essence, Kenya wants to keep al Shabaab at arms’ length from its border. It has already experimented with the idea of carving out a buffer zone inside Somalia. Earlier this year, it backed the formation of an autonomous region called Jubaland, or Azania, providing money and supplies to a hastily cobbled-together local governing authority under the leadership of a former Somali defense minister. This initiative never really got off the ground so this time round Kenya is taking the lead role rather than relying so heavily on local partners.

What is the extent of U.S. involvement in this operation?

Kenya’s status as a long-standing security partner of the United States has given rise to speculation that the United States is participating in this operation. Certainly, both countries have a shared interest in defeating al Shabaab, which is a designated terrorist group in the United States. But U.S. officials are adamant that the decision to take military action was Kenya’s and Kenya’s alone. They say they were not even briefed beforehand about Nairobi’s intention to take action. They have, however, expressed strong support for the operation. Kenya has been coy about naming the international partners who are assisting with its military offensive. It is unlikely to be coincidental that a U.S. air base in Ethiopia recently became operational. The base is used as a launch pad for unmanned drones that conduct counterterrorism surveillance across the Horn of Africa. The Pentagon says the Reaper drones are unarmed, but they are capable of being deployed for offensive operations. Missiles from U.S. drones have previously been used to kill suspected al Qaeda leaders in Somalia.

What are the military risks for Kenya?

Kenya has swept into Somalia on a wave of public support, and all the talk so far is of big military gains. But Kenya should not be fooled: this is a risky operation, and the risks will get bigger the longer the operation lasts. Kenya has not clearly defined its military objectives; instead, it has issued vague pronouncements to rid Somalia of extremists, which raise fears of a long and messy engagement. The history of outside military intervention in Somalia should also give the Kenyans pause for thought. Somalis do not tend to agree on much, but one thing that is guaranteed to unite them is opposition to external interference. We saw this in 2006, when Ethiopia invaded Somalia to oust the Islamic Courts Union, a governing authority that achieved considerable success in bringing a semblance of order to Mogadishu but whose anti-Ethiopian rhetoric caused alarm in Addis Ababa.

Read: Analysis of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

The invasion turned into a brutal occupation, triggering an insurgency that has lasted to this day. The Ethiopians withdrew two years later. Kenya is not viewed with quite the same level of hostility as Ethiopia, which is Somalia’s traditional adversary. But it will have to tread carefully nonetheless. Civilian casualties are likely to intensify Somali hostility to Kenya. There have already been reports from an international medical organization that five civilians in a camp for internally displaced people were killed in an air strike on the town of Jibil. Mistakes like this will inflame local opinion.

Kenya also has a domestic community of approximately 2.4 million Kenyan Somalis to consider, mainly in Nairobi and on the coast. Concerns have been raised of a potential “fifth column” inside Kenya. Al Shabaab has played on those fears, promising terrorist attacks inside Kenya. There have already been three grenade attacks in the past 10 days. A man arrested in connection with two of the attacks admitted in court to being an al Shabaab sympathizer.

Another problem for Kenya is that its proxies in Southern Somalia are not reliable. Some of them were fighting with al Shabaab until fairly recently, before switching sides. There is also a danger of antagonizing its ally and neighbor, Ethiopia, which has been backing its own proxies inside Southern Somalia. The ethnic groups most likely to benefit from Kenya’s operation in Southern Somalia are from the Ogadeni clan, whose kin inside Ethiopia have long resisted the government in Addis Ababa.

Is al Shabaab on its last legs?

While it would be premature to declare the demise of al Shabaab, the group is undoubtedly weaker than it was at the start of the year. First, any public support the group may once have had has long since evaporated due to the callous way it has handled the drought in the areas under its control. Within al Shabaab, there are splits between the international jihadists and those who have a more nationalist agenda. These splits have been further widened by the famine. The leaders whose domestic constituencies are worst affected want to allow foreign assistance into their regions, but they have been opposed by hardliners from other parts of the country.

As well as political weakness, al Shabaab is under military pressure. In addition to the Kenyan challenge, it is being squeezed by the Ethiopians on its western border. Furthermore, it was forced to retreat from Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in August following an offensive by troops from the 9,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission. (It described the withdrawal as “tactical.”) It has since retaliated with a string of suicide bombings, but this move to asymmetrical warfare has been interpreted by military analysts as a sign of weakness and desperation.

Read: Nuclear safety and Security.

Until now, al Shabaab has been fairly robust financially. It has made a lot of money from taxes, port revenues, and exports of charcoal. For this reason, it will be interesting to see what happens if Kenyan troops are able to secure the coastal city of Kismayo, an al Shabaab stronghold. Control of Kismayo port is a significant revenue stream for al Shabaab, and if they lost it, they would suffer a big hit financially.

Having said all this, it is probably too early to write off al Shabaab. First, there is a risk that the Kenyan operation will backfire and that the invasion will help rally support behind al Shabaab just at a time when it was starting to look weak. Also, there is a big question mark over its main domestic competitor, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which shows no sign that it can capitalize on al Shabaab’s frailties. The TFG has international support but is hated by most Somalis for its incompetence, corruption, and inability to provide public services. Even if al Shabaab is pushed out, the inadequacies of the TFG mean that the most likely outcome for Somalia will be a governance vacuum and another descent into warlordism.

The views expressed in this piece are solely those of Richard Downie. © 2011 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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Topics: Africa • Military • Somalia

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Abdirisak Ishak

    this is a deep analysis of the current and the past situation of the somali political turmoil. i agree that Kenya and Ethiopia wants to see a stable Somalia while having butterflies of a stronger and successful Somalia. in matter of years Somalia economy can surpass that of the both countries and this is a threat to them , the regimes in both countries are not experts of how to build a nation nor how to create a democracy so it is a double standard to say we are going there to make a peace.

    November 5, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      The coastal region of Somalia was once an Italian colony. As anarchy rules there, it's perfect for gangs to settle down. Maybe the Italian Maffia should be on the spot. They might have better control of the land and get rid of the Al Shabab!

      November 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  2. amos

    i dont agree with ur analysis and here is why.
    the kenyan defence forces are not seen as an occupying force.all the towns liberated from al-shabaab by tfg forces and the kenyan forces are secured and locals are left in charge.examples of these are dhobley,taabda,ras kamboni etc.ny point here is that the kenyan forces hav more support from somalis as was seen recently in dhobley wen somalis took to the streets to show their support for the kenyan invasion

    November 5, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Heart

      Somalia needs a good Government we all know that,
      However the Western people and Government are making it not better, but in fact worse. The Somali people would never allow people such as the Ethiopians and Kenyans to interfere in Somalia’s issues neither people from the UK, France and the USA. Your not going to building a new country you’re going to make it another disaster. In my opinion you should have done something years before but now you decide to help when Somalia is at its worst conditions. I believe Somali’s would not accept any further help from the Government as they think the Western have manipulated the fact that they could help a country in need when actually they may be there for the oil and the people, it’s a well-known fact. They are turning this into the next Afghanistan.

      "We can't dictate its future nor can we provide the solution to its internal problems – those are things that only Somalis can decide, although there are many ways that we can and will give them our assistance."(Guardian) I believe this is true but how can Somalis do this anymore? How can Somalis decide? You can fix their roads but you can never fix their brains. Believe me, Somalis can never recover from 20 years of civil war and famine and that is something people can never understand or relate to. It is hard. I am a Somali speaking from my point of view, I may not be an adult or an over eighteen but this is what needs to come across to all people seeking ‘help’ for Somalia. This is what Somalis want. They cannot find hope anymore; they do not know who to believe.

      The Western are providing good money to the AMISOM Armies but not to the Somalis then later on they are speaking on how to ‘get Somalia back on its feet’. If you really wanted to help Somalia then why not put effort into actually investing a good amount of money to the Somalis? Or is it just for publicity and making sure you get labelled a good name? The Turkish are heard to be the most effort put into helping Somalia they are putting the most they can into Somalia. When have I heard the UK or other countries did their best? As far as I'm concerned they just put input to the exportation of food. The Western take pictures of Somalis suffering from famine and broadcast it over many news channels.... and what help are you doing? Showing your skills on how to show pictures or helping Somalia? Are you actually thinking if people care or not? This problem should have been dealt with two decades ago. Clearly in those times I believe the Western were hunting for oil but were waiting for Somalia to get worse. It is like leaving a child sick then wait for it to be nearer to death. The only problem Somalia had were civil war and the lack of Government. Now this has led to children dying every day due to the lack of food. This shows the absolute great help the world could ever give. This shows how illiberal people are.

      Al-Shabab militants keep to their word. They will never accept anything from the Western. They say “It is better to starve than accept aid from the West”. This ceases Humanitarian Organisations from getting their ‘publicity’ as the Al'- Shabab militants halt the aid being provided from them. In this case it doesn’t help anyone in or with anything.

      “Somalia is one of the poorest, most violent, least stable countries anywhere on Earth.”(Article by Roger Middleton- BBC News) To me that is just utter rudeness. Somalia would have never of been any of those if (mainly) the UK and the USA kept to their own businesses stuck to their own countries problems. Firstly the UK has debt and the worst Government there could ever be to be dealing with. Secondly the USA have too many problems of their own to be even thinking about Somalia let alone other countries. The UK and other places can keep on talking about piracy but you won’t benefit from speaking about it. Who pushed you visit those seas? You may not think a thirteen year old would understand this but I think I am more concerned than Barack Obama. The Western are only concerned about ‘piracy’ because recently people were kidnapped. If they were not kidnapped you wouldn’t care about piracy not even if the sky turned green! It’s as stupid as that, you are only concerned because your own people got involved. There is nothing to be said further about it.

      I came here to speak for Somalia, speak for the people who couldn’t reach you, speak for the starving. The children of Somalia are not educated like I am currently doing; they are being taught how to use guns. They are taught to kill. There was a young boy of ten who killed three people. Is that acceptable? There was an eighteen year old girl with four children and a dead father. Is that acceptable? Many people turn mentally ill and become handicap. God forsake you people do not become like the Somalis. William Hague is there to show off, labelled a good name. Shame on you: if you do not act upon this.

      I know a Somali girl of twenty who is very lucky to be able to get into a university. How did this happen you are thinking? Well, let me tell you she used not a modern lamp but the old style antique Hurricane lamps to study books every day to reach university. She had no light. It was hard for her. Her mother has nine children and they live in the outskirts of Mogadishu. Sometimes she cannot go to university because of fights on the streets but she wants to succeed in her education.

      There are children in Somalia with no mother nor father. Somalis didn’t ever know about suicidal, piracy etc. until people came into their lives and turned it into a global issue. I even heard some ‘Somali Pirates’ do not know how to swim. That is how pathetic it gets.

      I want to seek a future for Somalia, I want a my people to get a better education, I want to see my people live in the homes and houses they used to live in, I want to see my people walk the roads with hope and prosperity. I want a new Somalia, A Somalia better than before...

      The conference that is taking place on the 23rd of February I hope will put an end to this Somali conflict.

      Thank You,

      13 Year Old Student

      February 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • james Ndicu

        You made this writing some months ago. Right now am sure you are convinced on the need for the incursion. We Kenya went in alone, look at how the somali communities in the pacified regions are rejoicing. The somali people are now free and their lives have been freed as God intended for them.

        November 9, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  3. mohamed

    this is not right at all. hard liners in the U.S.A goverment were responsible for this disquiting policy in Somalia
    because Somalia was peace before U.S violated the long standing U.N arms embargo on somalia by arming former war-lords and asisting the ithopian invation to Somalia. and i know that air-strike targeting suspected terrorists is illegal under international low, since any country could use that excuse to attack another country. i am telling the world that what Kenya is doing in Somalia is illegal. they are striking innocent people by no reason.

    November 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Luvai

      Kenya is hosting in excess of a half a million of your fellow country men. In my oponion this gesture has been abused over and over . Ask yourself this question: Is it right for Somalia to threaten the Security of Kenyas? The sitauation as it is now calls for Kenya to put her security intreset first. The safest way out would be to call on Al Shabab and say please stop causing human misery. RIGHT! Of course NOT. That won't work. For now this is what Kenya should have done long ago. I suggest the next step is to build the Berlin type of wall al the way.It is about time people like you wake up and appreciate what a good neighbour Kenya has been to you all a long and may be find it within your self to say THANK YOU..

      November 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
      • Sarah

        Lool You are Funny the area that is mislabelled as "kenya" has been somali lands for thousands of years and have had somalis living in them for centuries and that INCLUDES even the year 2011.

        November 9, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  4. Tuber

    Kenyans will not be able to pacify Somalia. Somalia has become a radicalized islamic place in the last 20 years. The starvation, the civil war, and further suffering will tame them in the future. Right now, they have not reached that point. While the neighboring countries have the right to defend themselves by invading the country when things get out of control(like the tourist kidnapping in Kenya's case,) trying to teach a cow how to read and write is a waste of time.

    November 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  5. Gacalka

    Kenya invades Somalia for Oil on Raskaambooni which close to Lamau

    November 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  6. Mash

    kenya is a tool being used by other western powers that couldn't get into Somalia. The oil coming from South Sudan needs passage, port, infrastructure and above all security. Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and some western oil companies are all interested the economic oil pipelines from South Sudan to the port of Lamu.

    November 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  7. Sami

    I do not understand why blacks or Africans kill each other for white interest? Somalisa problems solved only by dialogue with all partners otherwise it could be solved with war it was resolved 20 years ago, the African Union has not waited or listened decision by the White House, now they want tengage Eritrea in the game conducted refused to recognize Somali gevernment which manufactured in Djibouti with the major countries .. both Ethiopain and Kenyan gevernment is very corapted and therefore they must be listening to the great powers, or Do They gonna leave there porwer b / s they never accepted by Owen peopel ..
    Now they say that Eritrean armed al-Shabab, which is a lie for the Eritrea and may never meet in neighboring Eritrea only border with Ethiopia, Sudan and Dijibouti note how is it that Eritrea should be appealed to the seat when there are 2300 U.S. military and 3,000 French military between the Eritrean border and Djibouti border plus Eritrea is the enemy of both pupets countries Ethiopia and Djibouti and which way to help al-Shabab with arms when the All-Sababa threatened Eritrea bombing two years ago nobody west mass media talking about it ;

    November 5, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  8. American Hunk

    To Sami,Kenyans have a right to defend themsleves against the terrorists in crazy Somalia,its not a matter of blacks killing for whites as you say
    In my Opinion,Kenya should invade the whole of Somalia,overturn the Islamic government,kill all terrorists,and take control of the whole country.Kenya should occupy Somalia for at least 5 years for the sake of peace within the region.It should be brutal against these crazy militants,wipe them out and take charge.After that,East Africans should unite and make Somali orderly.
    Kenya has the capacity,the will and the resources to take over Somalia.Kenya has 40 million people,and Somalia 6 million,Kenya needs a mass recruitment of soldiers,arm its people for this necessary war against these terrorists.In fact,Kenya should now close the refugee camp holding 500,000 people,send them back to Somalia as the militants hide there
    Aid organizations should stop releasing press reports siding with the Somalis otherwise this effort will be compromised.We need a united front against terror

    November 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • amos

      thank u sir.. for saying it the way it should be said.no somalian should point a finger at the UNITED STATES and KENYA. the two countries host the largest number of refugees from this lawless country.

      November 6, 2011 at 1:11 am | Reply
    • Sarah

      You need to go learn somali history. Even IF kenya had the power to over take souther somalia the key to how long they would be there depends on the somali people. Why did the ethiopians fail in 2006 in souther somalia? Because the locals there were against the ethiopians and helped the somali soldiers of the different sects. Lets say that kenya takes over southern somalia? If it oppresses the locals there then the somalis in souther somalia would side with non-government soldiers and push their sons into their arms. Also it will be easier for non-government soldiers such as al-shabab to recrute somali men and young boys in refugee camps such as dadaab which is located in kenya. Also the somalis in kenya who are mistakenly labelled as kenyans contribute heavily into the kenyan economy. I don't think i have to state the obvious here i believe.

      Only a fool will believe that kenya is only after "defeating al-shabab." What happens when kenya does just that? Would other laughable excuse will they give to stay in somalia so they can please their white masters and share-holders?

      Also the CIA website has been saying that somalia population is 9million since 1989. There hasn't been a consensus since then. The average somali family has 5+children and thats putting it lightly, pull you forget to add the somali diaspora population is about 1 million people so i think you could do the math. Personally i think its a stupid move on kenya to enter somalia and i don't see it ending well. It seems amateurish and it doesn't seem well though out. What i do agree with is the part in the article where it said that "most somalis dont agree on much." So damn true.

      November 9, 2011 at 8:33 am | Reply
      • Caleb

        "...Only a fool will believe that kenya is only after "defeating al-shabab." What happens when kenya does just that? ... so they can please their white masters and share-holders?..." I wonder where you get your 'facts'! Kenya is a constantly changing state and we Kenyans have decided to build /develop our resources for better future! We cannot thus sit and watch as alshabaab create threat to our vision & aspirations! Who told oil have ever benefited african states? It only brings wars! My neighbours in Nairobi are of somali and ethipia origins and my estate is full of your brothers who have fled Dadaab camp. We do not harbour any hatred to them. We help them start small businesses and life goes on. We love peace in Kenya. We have our own problems like drugs, corruption, draughts, etc. You need to sober up and advise Somali people to revive their country without distabilizing the region. When i read such posts from educated persons like you, I get worried! Your comments seem 'inciting / arrogant' and non-constructive at all. Please, go back to your country and be of good contribution to national growth!

        November 14, 2011 at 6:55 am |
  9. American Hunk

    ALL WARS carry an element of risk,so no need to be condescending on the Kenyans for this much needed effort.The US should provide logistical support and its amazing that they are taking a hands off approach when Somalis have been kidnapping people for years with no control.The drones are needed now and this is a great opportunity for the US to go in and clear the area of these terrrorists.No need to say we are not getting involved when drones can help

    November 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  10. Sharmake

    The author missed the real reason why Kenya invaded Somalia.
    Here is my two cents. Start with economic crisis in EU and suddenly all eyes are on Africa. This is to say the ruthless colonialists are coming back, and by all means. The, French, in particular are salivating and willing to do anything so long contracts are involved. TOTAL has signed a deal to drill oil in presumably Kenya, but the reality is that more than half of these reservoirs are located off shore Somalia, and thus Kenya is planning to be in Somali territory for as long as it takes; to create the necessary buffer zone, and try to build the so called Azania region.
    Foreseeably, what is good for Kenya, is bad for Ethiopia. Helping the Ogadens to have a strong region in the south, is the last thing Ethiopia will tolerate, not to mention the disruption of the South Sudan pipeline if it ever seas the light of the day.
    You see, the problem in Somalia has never been isolated from the rest of the world. Some may think Somalia’s are bunch of crazy people, far from it, they are known to be among the most peace loving humans on earth. Somalia is trapped between crisscrossing Western interests, regional interests, UN, AU, and million and one other agendas.
    Weeks ago, western powers where claiming to help the famine victims estimated by millions, now they are helping Kenya to kill and invade the very same victims of famine. Hypocrisy in the making. Somalia is between two stones; terror from the so called Al Shabab, and/or terror from the so called international community. Innocent people are dying day in and day out and for no given reason. Let them keep justifying, keep shooting, keep killing, neither Kenya, nor Ethiopia will ever have the ability to concur Somalia. The current episode of invasion will proof to be the biggest miscalculated war of all times, the implications of which will be far reaching.

    November 6, 2011 at 12:47 am | Reply
    • Get lost, fakystan.

      If there is no Foreign Military power to assist the Somalian Transitional Government, Al shabab will take over. Is this what you want dear Sharmake?

      November 6, 2011 at 12:57 am | Reply
      • mohamed

        get lost fakystan. try to know more about somalia. Alshabab is more better than the conspiracy against those poor somalis

        November 6, 2011 at 4:20 am |
    • mohamed

      sharmake thanks for discovering the real truth behind those terror western rulers

      November 6, 2011 at 4:10 am | Reply
    • American Hunk

      Weaker countries like Somalia and Eritrea always feel strong and make it as if they can fight Goliath.
      Its like Iraq or Libya trying to fight allied forces,we all know the results
      Tiny Eritrea is arming Al Shabab,and disorganized Somalia with Al Shabab,think they can take on allied forces and stronger neighbors like Kenya and Ethiopia.Somalia and Eritrea can easily be defeated once and for all just like Iraq was a pain in the neck
      Somalis need to fight these radical elements and Eritrea should stop the games its currently playing by flying arms to Al Shabab-They will be defeated QUICKLY

      November 6, 2011 at 8:27 am | Reply
      • Sami

        To wanna American Hunk
        You seem like a poor guy that journalism can make you what they want and you have to think broader, how can you be deceived by Kenyan soldiers that they have seen two then become three airplanes parked and loaded with weapons? ask you selv simpel qustion why they have not shot them if they see aircraft with weapons? the kenyan why it was there otherwise? on vacation? Plus do not think number of heart as the warrior in battle read Eritrenska history we get our independet not like any other Africans by fax or telephone we just won 80, Milions Ethiopianer even get help from the outside world while we are only 4 milijons without help,, U can buy this book and read .. Against All Odds

        November 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Sarah

      Sharmake you seem to have a healthy point of view, may i ask you a question? Can you educate me in the current political and geographic environment of somalia today? It would be amazing to hear something the truth for a change.

      November 9, 2011 at 8:39 am | Reply
  11. nchemuya

    There is no conspiracy against muslims... no one gives a rat's *** whether it grows or not. We are not after 'somalia's oil' (does somalia have oil?) .... and on the somalia economy surpussing the kenay and ethiopia economies in a few years... well we'll just have to wait and see. The truth is, alshabaab took our kindness for weakness, we have more than half their population in our country, we have sheltered them, educated them, given them a chance in life that they never had (by the way it's not somalia right for us to accomodate them, just ask zimbabweans going to south africa) and yet for our kindness they kidnap our tourists, kill innocent civilians and throw grenades in Nairobi. No this time enough is enough, we just have to eliminate this group and burn them to a crisp. It doesnt matter how long it takes, this a sacrifice we are prepared to make.

    November 6, 2011 at 2:35 am | Reply
    • Get lost, fakystan.

      @ nchemuya;
      You made a good point. There's no any Country in the World without a Government for 20 Years, except Somalia.

      And also, foreign terrorists like some people from Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Eritrea, Palastine, etc. are joined al shabab by fighting against Internationally recognised transitional government, against African Union Peace keepers and others who try to build Somalia.

      The other problems are Western and Arab Countries are sheltering Al shabab and Alshabab supporters by knowing and without knowing, that make it difficult for peacekeepers in Somalia to go after who the enemies are. Unless clear actions are not taken by those who sheltering al shabab assistants, there is nothing can be done to defeat al shabab.

      We seen this kinds of games by Muslims who are living in Arab Countries and Western World, technically they helped Taliban and Alqoeda by attacking and secretly murdering others whom their Countries are Associated with America on the war on Terror. For example, Christian Ethiopians are being very well attacked and secretly murdered in Arab Countries and Western Countries. Some of the attackers in Canada and America are those who are Muslims in Government positions, like Police Officers, etc.

      November 6, 2011 at 6:19 am | Reply
  12. TowelsHeadsAreMorons

    That's why!

    November 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  13. Nunuma5

    I personally could not be bothered to argue who's done what to deserve such and such. What concerns me is the innocent lives lost so far and those that could be lost. Al Shabaab vowing to retaliate in a big way has thus made them the enemy in my eyes. They need to stop terrorizing innocent people. And if they refuse to do so, then by any means necessary, they need to be stopped.

    November 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  14. kingz

    I as a Kenyan,I have respect for Somalia.In fact how they run their county is their own business!But now with all the raids in our north,only a fool can let that lie down.Military solution was actually a final option after calls and warnings failed.Its clear Al Shabaab got no respect for other countries freedom and order.Being a Kenyan who understands the ideology here,be assured this war will be fought until results are realized!!!

    November 12, 2011 at 3:20 am | Reply
  15. Brian

    The Somalian borderland is pretty tough for Kenyan authorities to monitor effectively. They cannot risk allowing criminals or terrorists to set up shop right across their border so they can attack and rob at will. The Kenyan invasion was really not a typical invasion because the territory they entered are not governed legitimately and is a failed state. The action was only taken in order to protect its civilians and tourists and its primary goal was to create a buffer zone in the border region, not to capture large amounts of territory.

    December 3, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  16. Cesar Suva

    An invading army, unfortunately, no matter how righteous they think their actions may be, no matter how justified you and I may think the operation is, in the scale of local people's daily lives, is all too often seen simply as an invader and little else. Unilateral invasions are always band-aid solutions in the longer-term scheme of things and can frequently cause more problems than it solves. Beating the current bad guy into submission may have immediate results, but people have long cloudy memories, whole communities even longer. Which is why it makes sense to say that Kenya is playing with fire. Even if Kenya's concerns can be justified, if you don't get buy-in and participation somehow of the Somali population or leadership in this endeavour, it may end up lingering in their minds simply as a military violation of their territory. Kenya needs to be careful that it does not sow the seeds of animosity that could lead to generations of violence between the two countries.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:12 am | Reply
    • Jitendra

      this is a dseiatsr of biblical proportions...10 million peopler are in danger ....we all must do whatever possible...left or right....

      February 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  17. Sintia

    Wow... what an iencrdible reminder of the war that we are in daily. It certainly is a wake up to what Christians deal with regarding what real persecution is.

    February 12, 2012 at 2:36 am | Reply
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