Home > TFG Somalia > WAR IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA:Kenya Operation in Somalia gets UN nod + Related Articles

WAR IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA:Kenya Operation in Somalia gets UN nod + Related Articles

Friday, December 9, 2011

Laaska news  Dec. 9, 2011

Kenya’s military operation in Somalia has received crucial backing from the United Nations.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said the war against Al-Shabaab militia was necessary to restore peace and stability in the war-torn country and the region.

In a meeting with President Kibaki on Thursday, the UN boss welcomed Kenya’s decision to offer its troops to the African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom).

Cause of the war

A statement from the Presidential Press service (PPS) said that Mr Ban welcomed Kenya’s leadership role in efforts to stabilise Somalia.
He assured the government that the UN would fully back the military operation.

President Kibaki asked the UN to take a more pro-active role in Somalia.

He updated Mr Ban on steps that the Kenya Defence Forces were taking to restore order and provide humanitarian assistance in areas liberated from Al-Shabaab.

And in what appeared to be a veiled rebuttal to the militants’ claims that Kenya wants to occupy the chaotic country, the president explained that Kenya was only interested in a peaceful Somalia.

“Kenya and the TFG are conducting joint security operations in the south and central parts Somalia to stamp out threats posed by Al-Shaabab to Kenya’s economic and national interests,” said the statement.

He said that the Kenyan military had secured most parts of southern Somalia previously controlled by the rebels.

Kenyan troops crossed into Somalia on October 16 following a series of raids by the militia into the former’s territory.

Two tourists were abducted in luxury resorts in Lamu while aid workers were seized in the Dadaab refugee camp.

The attacks caused a major scare in the crucial tourism industry.

The secretary general reportedly told President Kibaki that he fully understood Kenya’s reason for pursuing Al-Shabaab inside Somalia.

The meeting, which was held at Harambee House , comes only a day after Parliament endorsed a government’s decision to deploy Kenyan troops to Amisom.

December 8  2011.



Kenya’s parliament approves military to join AMISOM

NAIROBI, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s Parliament on Wednesday endorsed the government’s decision to allow the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) to join the AU Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as part of the pan African body’s strategy to combat Al- Shabaab.

The lawmakers unanimously endorsed the move which was request by the African Union aimed at expanding the mandate of the AMISOM to provide peacekeeping role in the entire Horn of Africa nation.

Defense Minister Yusuf Haji had told the lawmakers’ parliament that following a recent extra ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union, Kenya has been requested to have her soldiers integrated to AMISOM.

“This has been done at the request of the African Union to enhance a combined strategy for the operation against Al-Shabaab,” Haji said.

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim lauded the Kenya Defence Force and said the troops who crossed into southern Somalia mid October had been able to liberate several towns from the militia group.

Kenyan troops pushed across the border with Somalia into insurgent territory in the south in Oct. 16, following a string of attacks by Somali gunmen on Kenyan soil.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet that met under the chairmanship of President Mwai Kibaki approved the re-hatting of the Kenya Defense Forces in Somalia to AMISOM.

The East African nation which launched incursion in Somalia in mid October committed to the IGAD Heads of States Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November its willingness to join the 9000- strong AMISOM force.

Speaking in Parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula said Kenya’s war against the militants had UN backing, adding that the United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon is set to visit Dadaab on Thursday.

Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti said Kenyan troops serving under the African Union force would ensure the war is not a Kenyan problem but a global one.

The lawmakers supported the move, saying it will provide Kenya a safe exit from the war which may prove costly and burden the tax payer.

They said under AMISOM, Kenya will secure regional backing and ensure the war is well managed under the African Union.

Currently, AMISOM’s mandate restricts it to operate only in Mogadishu as a peace-keeping force where it is providing security to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) led by President Sheikh Ahmed Sharif. Uganda and Burundi are the only countries that have contributed troops to the force.

Kenya is currently engaged in the fight against the militia group in southern Somalia where it has been registering impressive gains and extending humanitarian assistance to the local population.

Regional analysts say the impending arrival of reinforcements, along with a coalition of clan militias and transitional government troops, is expected to allow the Somali government to gradually expand the territory it holds.

Ethiopian troops pulled out of Somalia in 2009 after staying on the ground for two years to dislodge a coalition of Islamist rulers who had taken control of Mogadishu.

The AMISOM troops, currently numbering 9,000, are expected to receive a boost from Djibouti, whose plan to deploy inside Somalia has constantly been postponed since 2009.



 Kenyan troops join AU Somalia mission

Kenyan soldiers fighting Al-Shabaab militants have now become part of the United Nations-sponsored African Mission in Somalia.

It follows the unanimous vote in Parliament on Wednesday authorising the Kenya Defence Forces currently in Somalia to serve under the African Union Mission in Somalia.

Kenya is joining the force at the invitation of the African Union. (READ: Cabinet approves AU request on Kenyan troops)

By passing the motion, MPs removed the last hurdle, which gave the conversion of the mission from a purely Kenyan affair to a UN/AU sponsored one after the Cabinet last week approved the move.

By sending troops to Somalia, Kenya provided perhaps one of the best chances of peace in Somalia in recent times.

It has created the conditions for military victory over Al-Shabaab, now being fought on three fronts, with the prospect of giving the Transitional Federal Government the room it needs to take charge of more of the lawless country.

As a purely Kenyan affair, Operation Linda Nchi was paid for solely by the Kenyan taxpayer and risks being seen as an occupation force.

As part of the AU peacekeeping mission, Kenya will still achieve the objective of ridding Somalia of Al-Shabaab without the risk of being perceived as occupying a neighbouring country.

The AU also pays for the mission.

On Wednesday, even as they passed the motion, MPs cautioned against the risk of Kenya being caught up in an endless war in Somalia.

Need for exit strategy

MPs supported the government decision through a motion introduced to the House by Defence Minister Yusuf Haji, but called for caution and the need for an exit strategy.

They urged the government to look for a structure where the Kenya Defence Force enjoys some degree of command and operational independence.

The 9,000-strong Amisom forces currently operating in Mogadishu are commanded by a Ugandan general and it was not immediately clear whether this would continue to be the case when the KDF join the mission.

Defence assistant minister David Musila said it would be a grave mistake to leave the operation half-way, cautioning that this would expose Kenya to danger.

Amisom is a regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the UN and is mandated to conduct peace support operations in Somalia.

The Cabinet last week approved an African Union request that Kenyan forces battling Al-Shabaab join Amisom.

“The Cabinet that met under the chairmanship of President Kibaki at State House Nairobi also approved the re-hatting of the Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia to Amisom, subject to approval by Parliament,” said an emailed statement on Tuesday.

The Cabinet also approved the hosting of the Nairobi Summit on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia early next year.

Kenya, which launched an incursion in Somalia mid-October, committed to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Heads of States Summit in Addis Ababa in November its willingness to join the 9000-strong Amisom force.

Kenya had expressed willingness to bolster the African Union troops on condition that the forces’ mandate was changed to reflect the security situation on the ground.

Currently, Amisom’s mandate restricts it to operate only in Mogadishu as a peace-keeping force where it is providing security to the Transitional Federal Government.

Director of communications in the Department of Defence Bogita Ongeri said no agreement had been reached on whether the KDF would be deployed in Mogadishu.

“The AU mission will be divided into sectors with the Amisom mission widened to include places outside Mogadishu,” Mr Ongeri said.

KDF would be given one of the sectors to operate from, he added.

December 7  2011


Laaska News.