On the Eve of October 15th, Kenya declared war on al-Shabab in Somalia. This drastic action has been spurred on by the recent spate of kidnappings in the northern regions of Kenya. If you recall, I wrote a post on the kidnappings just a few weeks ago. To add an update for those without Kenyan news, last week two Spanish women working at the Al Dabaab refugee camp in northern Kenya were kidnapped by Somalis. I cannot fathom why these disgraceful Somali terrorists would kidnap aid workers assisting Somali refugees. Anyway, back to war.
In my opinion, we (Kenya) could be in trouble. Ever heard of the expression “biting off more than you can chew”? Do not get me wrong, I fully support and commend the Kenyan government on making this decision to declare war on al-Shabab. It demonstrates the resolve to protect our country and its people from this (apparent) evil attempting to strike fear into the heart of Kenyans (and tourists). The truth is, Kenya has barely any experience in war. The forces they have chosen to stand against (Al Shabab) have proven themselves as mighty opponents in past skirmishes with larger and more powerful “foes” (think “Black Hawk Down“).
Another minor problem is that Kenya somewhat lacks the concrete evidence required to fully convict al-Shabab (well, that is the impression gained). In initial reports, it was believed that the kidnappings were instigated by Somali pirates. Somalia does seem to cultivate multiple forms of evil. The shifta (Somali word for “bandit”), pirates and al-Shabab could all be involved to some degree. Due to the porous nature of the border between Kenya and Somali, anyone can just waltz across. This might explain why these kidnappings occurred with so little warning. Action should be taken to regulate the flow of people across the border.
For now, however, visiting Kenya might not be the smartest thing to do. I will ensure to keep abreast with related news and append noteworthy updates below this post in an attempt to keep you informed. We can only hope that this comes to a rapid conclusion and that life here can return to normality. Sadly, the damage has been done. Tourists are warned against visiting Kenya by their governments and the tourists currently here will no doubt be fleeing in their droves in the coming weeks. Alas, not much can be done besides sitting back and allowing these events to unfold. To quote Robert Jordan, “The Wheel (of time) weaves as the Wheel wills”.
|2nd Nov, 2011||Somali al-Shabab militants attack Kenyan army convoy|
|28th Oct, 2011||Are Kenyans seeking a buffer zone in Somalia?|
|25th Oct, 2011||France to support Kenya’s incursion into Somalia|
|25th Oct, 2011||Kenya: Second explosion in Nairobi|
|24th Oct, 2011||Nairobi nightclub grenade attack injures 12|
|24th Oct, 2011||Somali President Ahmed opposes Kenyan troop incursion|
|21st Oct, 2011||Kenya to target al-Shabab sympathisers in Nairobi|
|19th Oct, 2011||French hostage Marie Dedieu held in Somalia dies|
|18th Oct, 2011||Kenya troops ‘advance into Somalia near Afmadow’|