|Kenya Soldiers on Ground in Somalia. Will she tame Al Shabaab?|
where others failed? This question has been asked by many a writer in the last
one month. Depending on where one comes from, the answer has been to show that
defeating a rag-tag army called Al shabaab will be an herculean task for the
Kenyan Military. Kenya
The Kenyan defense Forces invaded
on October 15th 2011, in a bid to destroy this terrorist group which
was accused of breaching Kenyan territorial integrity. It was blamed for kidnapping tourists from
Isolated Kenya tourist resorts which was a threat to her US$1 billion- a-year
The attack has spawned a series of questions among them: what was
and whether it will succeed where others failed? Kenya
in 2006 and was humbled by the militias. Two years later, Somalia Ethiopia withdrew its forces, citing the heavy
cost of keeping soldiers in .
More than 10 years earlier, the Mighty US was humbled by the same militias. Two
Black Hawk choppers were shot down and 18 servicemen killed. The bodies of several soldiers were dragged
through the streets of Somalia .
This led to a hasty withdrawal. Mogadishu
This scenario, coupled with the fact the Kenyan Military was once termed a “career army” which was never involved in any war led to the question raised at the beginning.
However, the Kenyan invasion enjoys several advantages never enjoyed by the previous invaders. For a start, Al Shabaab and all such similar militias are confined to the south of the country.
The North, including the Capital Mogadishu, is in the control of the TFG (the transitional Government Forces) and the Amisom (The African Peace keeping force). The Porous Kenya border is controlled by the Kenya Army.
In the south, Al Shabaab’s stronghold, the sea including entry into the
port of Kismayu
is controlled by the
navy. And the Air space is controlled by the Kenya Air force which has been softening the targets with
frequent bombing runs. This means that Al-Shabaab is effectively isolated. Kenya
In addition the
enjoys advantages that the previous “invaders” of never enjoyed. Unlike the Americans and the Ethiopians,
Kenyans speak Kiswahili, a language spoken by a majority of locals in the areas
it has invaded. This makes it easy for Somalia to pacify the locals and win
their hearts since their intentions are easily understood. Kenya
What has been the operational effect of this virtual Isolation? Both and the
US battled the militias in Mogadishu,
leaving other parts of ,
particularly Kismayu and the porous Kenya-Somali Border un Policed. This allowed
the militias to receive arms, and export contraband to finance its war with the Somalia US and . Ethiopia
The Kenyan defense forces on the other hand, began by chocking off Al-Shabaab's lifeline. The Kismayu port, through which Al-shabaab could import contraband goods and weaponry, has been effectively blockaded by the Kenya Navy.
Two, the Porous Kenya-Somali border through which Al-shabaab and its supporters in
Nairobi smuggled the contraband into Eastleigh Estate in has also been cut
off by the Army which is moving South wards towards Kismayu. In the air, the Kenya Air force has effective
We can therefore conclude that Al shabaab's sources of finance have been effectively shut down. This has reduced its effectiveness as a fighting force. And analysts in
not give Al-Shabaab much chance against the Kenya Defense Forces in the face of
this deadly strategy. Nairobi
Finally either as a result of the strategy or as part thereof, the
defense forces appears to be
herding Al-shabaab together for the final assault. To date, Al shabaab has been
uprooted from various strongholds in Kenya Southern Somalia
and are being herded South-wards toward Afmadow and Kismayu.
So we may ask will
succeed where others failed. The answer is a firm YES. Al shabaab low on funds, arms
and hiding places is something of a sitting duck. So far it has suffered huge loses whenever it engages
the Kenyans; This means that they are also running short of fighters. And since all re-supply routes are cut off,
the probability of re-arming or even training more soldiers is close to zero. My
Prophecy, the final assault whenever it comes, will be just that, a final one.
There will be no-al-shabaab after that! Kenya