This week, Somalia has experienced a new round of violence perpetrated by its worst enemies: Al-Shabab and Kenya. As Al-Shabab is dismembered and losing ground, Kenyan troops is vying to replace them.
On June 3, Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) planes raided the towns of El-Adde and Hisa-u-gur in the Gedo region.
The airstrike killed a mother and her child and wounded numerous children of which five severe cases were brought to Mogadishu by plane for treatment today.
The Somali government slammed the airstrike, the continuous Kenyan killings of civilians and requested the AMISOM to rein in on Kenyan troops.
AMISOM responded and promised to investigate but that remains to be seen as it is not the first time Kenya has turned rogue and neither the AU who supervises AMISOM nor the EU who funds the mission were able to curb Kenyan troops’ destructive tendencies.
Since its imposition on AMISOM after its illegal invasion of Somalia in 2011, KDF doesn’t notify the African troop’s command of its actions and turns a deaf ear to AMISOM rules of engagement.
Without any repercussions from the African Union or Western countries which swiftly condemn human rights violations and aggressions in the region, Kenya has stepped up attempts to undermine the country’s sovereignty, security and development.
Kenyan army has consistently attacked villagers and destroyed Somalia’s economic infrastructure in the border regions for the last ten years. For instance, they repeatedly dynamited mobile phone towers belonging to Hormuud Telecom, the biggest Somali telecommunication company.
Somalia’s southern neighbour, which in the past has always used unscrupulous Somali politicians, is increasingly exasperated that Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s administration is unwilling to cede ground in the ICJ maritime case.
In addition, Kenya has tried a range of bullying tactics as well as using its friends to apply strong diplomatic pressure on Farmajo’s administration. But the Somali government has stood firm and Kenya is increasingly reckless to the point of putting AMISOM in a difficult position.
Kenya is officially a rogue state which should not be part of the African mission as its participation is in fact a subterfuge intended to undermine the mission’s objectives and Somalis safety, but above all shows that this expensive mission has been hijacked.
The government should officially request the African Union to withdraw Kenyan troops because their service undermines the security of the nation AMISOM pledged to safeguard.
Countries that finance AMISOM use the Al-Shabab argument to keep foreign troops in Somalia, but when those same troops, or some of them, commit illegal activities, abuses and mass killings they look the other way.
One wonders which is more important to the West, the declining Al-Shabab militia or the unnecessary loss of life caused by the violence of the Kenyan army under the guise of fighting this group.
For Somalis, who are paying with their lives, the risk posed by Kenya is much more pressing and must be eliminated at all costs.
Sadly, there was no reaction from the presidential candidates and leaders of Puntland and Jubaland who blocked the elections due to Gedo vote’s issue.
These opposition leaders, who are normally quick to accuse the government of anything, seem frozen when Kenya kills and abuses Somalis on their own soil or when it claims Somalia’s territory.
Jubaland leader Ahmed Madobe, whose Gedo region falls under his jurisdiction, has yet to comment. He even went further by spending the day after the airstrike with Kenyan troops protecting his compound in Kismayo.
If the competition between Al-Shabab and Kenyan troops over who will kill the most Somalis continues, Somalis would elect a nationalist government, whether those foreign bodies, who encourage this cycle of violence, like it or not.