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Collapsed statehood and regional security dynamics: The Somalia- East African Community Complex


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Collapsed statehood and regional security dynamics: The Somalia- East African Community Complex

  1. 1. Stadtschlaining, AustriaCOLLAPSED STATEHOOD AND REGIONAL SECURITYDYNAMICS: THE SOMALIA –EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITYCOMPLEXThesis submitted byKAWEGAH JNR. P. PAULIn partial fulfilment of the requirements for the MA in Peace and Conflict Studies2012ADVISOR DR. TILMAN EVERSSECOND READER DR. LASZLO FARKAS
  2. 2. Page | iiABSTRACTThis thesis gives a comprehensive account of the Somali state collapse and how thesubsequent anarchy led to the emergence of extremist groups, particularly Al-Shabaab. Thestudy then focuses on pertinent aspects of the Al-Shabaab, including: Ideologicalconnotation, organizational structure, recruitment, financing, tactics and the strategies to ‘winminds and hearts’ of the Somali people. Most importantly, the study establishes possibleloopholes that Al-Shabaab has exploited to broaden its sphere of influence into the EastAfrican Community (EAC).The study then reveals that Al-Shabaab’s extremism in Somalia and later infiltration intothe EAC has negatively impacted on the region’s fragile foreign direct investment, tourismsector and led to an influx of refugees, particularly in Kenya. Accordingly, the study focuseson the Al-Shabaab related military interventions.On the military front, the study assesses Kenya’s led ‘Operation Linda Nchi’ and theAfrican Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), seeking to establish whether the operationwas based on unsubstantiated claims, or otherwise. Further, this research captures thepublic’s reaction towards this operation and the eventual integration of the Kenyan DefenseForces (KDF) into AMISOM.The research finally proposes various avenues for countering Al-Shabaab in the contextof emerging regionalism, but remains pragmatic that not all the possible solutions can belocalised within Somalia without tackling the groups external support structures.
  3. 3. Page | iiiTABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER ONE1.0 Introduction and background to the Study………………………………………………...11.1 Statement of Problem and Scope of study…………………………………………...……31.2 Literature Review……………………………………………………………………….…41.3 Significance of the Study……………………………………………………………...…111.4 Research Methodology …………………………………………………………………..111.5 Constraints………………………………………………………………………………..121.6 CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………….…….13CHAPTER TWO2.0 SOMALIA- COLLAPSED STATEHOOD AND OUTCOMES2.1 THE PATH TO STATE COLLAPSE………………………………….………….….....142.1.1 Background…………………………………………………………………………….142.1.2 The Siad Barre Regime, Cold War factor, and Civil War break out…………….…...172.2 AL-SHABAAB: THE OUTCOME OF A STATE COLLAPSE2.2.1 Chronology of the Al-Shabaab evolution………………………………………………212.2.2 Understanding the Al-Shabaab…………………………………………………………252.3 CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………………..42
  4. 4. Page | ivCHAPTER THREE3.0 AL-SHABAAB RELATED MILITARY INTERVENTIONS3.1 OPERATION LINDA NCHI (OLN)……………………………………………….……443.2 AMISOM……………………………………………………………………………...…583.3 ETHIOPIAN PERCIFICATION OF SOMALIA………………………….……….……653.4 CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………..……66CHAPTER FOUR4.0 FINDINGS: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION4.1 Overview…………………………………………………………………………………684.2 Data Analysis………………………………………………………………………….…684.3 Nexus of the Somalia Collapsed Statehood, Emergence of theAl-Shabaab, and the recent terrorist activities in the EAC……..………………….….…714.4 Avenues for spill over of extremism and terrorist activities inKenya and the EAC……………………………………………………….……….…..…804.5. Impacts of the Al-Shabaab Instigated insecurity within the EAC……………….…...…954.6. Perceptions of the EAC citizens regarding the OperationLinda Nchi (OLN) and the Integration of the KDF into AMISOM……….….…….…..964.7 Reasons for or against the integration of KDF into AMISOM………………………….994.8. Mitigation: Addressing the Al-Shabaab threat in thecontext of the emerging regionalism ………………………………………….…..…...1014.9 CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………….…...…...110
  5. 5. Page | vCHAPTER FIVE5.0 RECOMMENDATIONS, CONCLUSION AND FUTURE AREA FORRESEARCH5.1 RECOMMENDATIONS……………………………………………………………….1125.2 FUTURE AREA FOR RESEARCH…………………………………………………....1195.3 CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………………119SOURCES…………………………………………………………………………………..121APENDIXAPENDIX A: ACRONYMS……………………………………………………..…..........132APENDIX B: CODE BOOK……………………………………………………………...133APENDIX C: DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS…………………………………………....139APENDIX D: LIST OF KEY INFORMANTS…………………………………………....141APENDIX E: MAP OF SOMALIA…………………………………………….………...143APENDIX F: MAP OF THE EAST AFRICAN STATES………………………………..144APENDIX G: MAP OF LAPSSET PROJECT……………………………………………145
  6. 6. Page | 1CHAPTER ONE1.0 Introduction and background to the StudyWhereas the conflict in Somalia has become the centre of global debate on piracy,Muslim extremism and terrorism over the years, a lot of existing literature has equallyfocused on the instability, especially due to Al-Shabaab, but relative to the Horn of Africa.Not much has been written on the ramifications of this instability with regards to the EAC,even though the Al-Shabaab threat has become far too fraught for the EAC citizens tocontemplate.The EAC with a population of 133.1 million1comprises of Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda,Rwanda and Kenya. Nevertheless, Kenya is the only EAC state sharing a border withSomalia (the border stretches 682 km from Mandera at the North to Ras Kamboni in theIndian Ocean).2This expansive border and its corresponding porosity is at the core of theinfiltration of terrorist activities into Kenya and conceivably, one of the most predictableavenues that has predisposed the entire EAC to Al-Shabaab related terror attacks.Even though Kenya, given its proximity to Somalia and the fact that it hosts a portion of amarginalised Somali group would easily face a backlash of extremism and terrorist acts fromSomalia, the prognosis could not be as clear for the rest of the EAC states. However, the July1“East African Community Facts and Figures – 2011”, EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY SECRETARIAT, October, 2011, p12, (accessed on January 3, 2012)2CIA, “Somalia”, CIA World Fact Book, APRIL 12, 2012, (accessed on January 3, 2012)
  7. 7. Page | 211, 2010 Al-Shabaab masterminded grenade attacks in Kampala, Uganda that claimed at least74 lives3shifted the focus from the initial perception that the risk was predominantly Kenyas.Following the terrorist attacks in Uganda, it is pragmatic postulation that Burundi, anotherAMISOM troop contributor would gravely endure a similar fate. Arguably, this prediction isnot farfetched following Al-Shabaabs recent warning to the Burundian government toconsider withdrawing its troops, or face retribution attacks.4With three of the EAC stateshaving been attacked, or on the verge of it, the Al-Shabaab threat had ceased to be a Horn ofAfrica issue, but rather a concern for the EAC with Kenya as the buffer between Somalia andthe rest of the EAC.In light of terrorist activities that Kenya has experienced over the past one year, the focushas shifted to the current state of affairs which prompted Kenya’s first military mission in aforeign land since independence (1963). The incursion, code named ‘Operation Linda Nchi’(OLN) or Operation Protect the Nation/Country, has equally put Kenya on a collision pathwith Al-Shabaab. Notably, KDF has eventually joined their counterparts from Uganda andBurundi in AMISOM, making it three out of five EAC states on a mission to militarily ‘wipeout’ Al-Shabaab from Somalia.Kenya is also a residence to almost half a million Somali refugees in addition to thepopulation of its native Somali speaking citizens. Whereas Rwanda and Burundi do not haveany statistically significant numbers of Somali nationals, Uganda and Tanzania have equallyaccommodated proportionate numbers of Somali refugees with others settling in therespective countries as citizens.3Xan Rice “Uganda bomb blasts kill at least 74”, The Guardian, July 12, 2010, (accessed on January 17, 2012)4ABDULKADIR KHALIF, “Al-Shabaab warns Burundi of revenge attack”, Africa Review, March 2, 2011, (accessed on January 17, 2012)
  8. 8. Page | 3In this thesis therefore, the author would argue that there exists a nexus between thecollapsed statehood of Somalia, and the emergence of Al-Shabaab related extremism orterrorist activities. Further, terror insecurity in Kenya is as a consequence of the spill over ofviolent extremism from Somalia and that the remaining EAC States are equally predisposedgiven the myriad of factors that have so far encouraged spill overs as would be discussed.1.1 Statement of Problem and Scope of studyThis study seeks to explore the dynamics or fluidity of the EAC regional security relativeto the Somalia collapsed statehood and the complexity of neighbourliness relationshipsfollowing the current military interventions in the country. The scope of this study isto identify Al-Shabaab and their terrorist-related activities as a universal security gap amongthe EAC states vis-à-vis other transnational crimes arising from the collapsed statehood ofSomalia. Accordingly, this study seeks to answer the following questions:i. What is the nexus between the Somalia collapsed statehood, emergence of Al-Shabaab, and the recent terrorist activities in the EAC?ii. What factors have made it feasible for Al-Shabaab related terrorist activities tospill over to Kenya and possibly the rest of the EAC?iii. What are the impacts of Al –Shabaab related terrorist activities on the socio-economic fronts of Kenya and the rest of the EAC States?iv. What is the perception of the EAC citizens regarding the Operation Linda Nchi(OLN) and the integration of the KDF into AMISOM?v. How can the Al-Shabaab threat be addressed in the context of the emergingregionalism?
  9. 9. Page | 41.2 Literature ReviewThe discourse of failed and collapsed statehood cannot be independently assessed withoutincorporating the element of a violent conflict.5Notably, the violent nature of civil warspresents opportune avenues for state failure and eventual collapse. Bates posits that statefailure encompasses an existing deterioration of the ability of the central authority to providepublic goods for its citizens,6and as Dearth suggests, a state is said to have failed if it doesnot fulfil the most basic obligations of statehood.7This is in tandem with Carment’sobservation that, the leadership of a failed state “cannot provide sufficiently for the people toattract minimal sufficient domestic support.”8The level of hopelessness in terms of thefunctions of the government degenerates further as the state flips from the position of‘failure’ to ‘total collapse’, a concept which has characterised Somalia since 1991.Flotz attributes high risks of personal insecurity, lawlessness, and armed conflicts to statefailure, and hence the eventual collapse. He denotes that under these circumstances, citizensdevelop a tendency to support virtually any group that can retain order. 9Accordingly, theinability of a state to assert its inherent monopoly of legitimate force “opens the door forextremists to build their bases of political power.”10This argument puts an insight into theemergence and the initial positive reception that ICU (Islamic Courts Union) of Somaliareceived, even as its militant arm (Al-Shabaab) carried out terrorist related activities againstthe population. The power void created by the Somali state failure and collapse hasconsequently been filled by Al-Shabaab, an Islamist extremist group which has been thriving5Brennan M. Kraxberger, “Failed States: Temporary Obstacles to Democratic Diffusion or Fundamental Holes in the WorldPolitical Map?”, Third World Quarterly, 28 (2007) pp. 1055-716Robert Bates, “The Logic of State Failure: Learning from Late-Century’, Conflict Management and Peace Science25(2008) pp. 297-3147Carment David, “Assessing state failure:Implications for theory and policy”, Third World Quarterly, Vol 24, No 3(2003)pp. 407-4278Ibid9Zachary Devlin-Flotz, “Africa’s Fragile States: Empowering Extremists, Exporting Terrorism”, Africa Security Brief, No6, August (2010) p. 110Ibid
  10. 10. Page | 5on the platform of ‘standing in for the government,’ which essentially means rendering‘services’ to the people.Civil war is a key component of state failure and eventual collapse as it emerges side byside of the state disintegration.11This thesis would depart from the assumption that theSomalia civil war was a recipe for the emergence of Al-Shabaab extremist group.Transnational terrorism has historically been carried out by non-state actors who carry outterror related activities in a bid to compel the state to conform to their demands.12Groupswhich exhibit terror tendencies like the Boko Haram of Borno state of Nigeria have employedthe tact in their quest for Islamic rule across the country,13similarly, the Somalia Al-Shabaabequally prescribe to the same ideology. Whereas the threat posed by Boko Haram is stillconfined to its national spheres and more particularly, the state of Borno, the converse is truefor the Al-Shabaab which has so far enhanced its ambitions and extended its sphere ofinfluence beyond the borders of Somalia into the EAC.The strategy adopted by the Al-Shabaab extremist group in achieving its objectives puts it at par with the existing terroristgroups. However, as Schmid puts it, arriving at an adequate definition of the phenomenonhas become problematic.14For the purposes of this thesis, the author adopts Hoffman’sdefinition of terrorism, which identifies it as an act specifically designed to have far reachingpsychological effects beyond the immediate victim(s). He further posits that terrorism ismeant to instil fear within, and hence intimidates a “wider target” which in this case is theaudience.1511Schneckene U., “How Transnational Terrorists Profit from Fragile States”, SWP Research Paper, German Institute forInternational and Security Affairs, Germany 2004 p 5.12William H. McRaven, “SPEC OPS Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice”, New York: TheRandom House Publishing Group, 1996,p 335.13Zachary Devlin-Flotz, “Africa’s Fragile States: Empowering Extremists, Exporting Terrorism”, Africa Security Brief, No6, August (2010) p. 414Alex Schmid, “Terrorism-The Definitional Problem,” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 36 (2-3)(2004), pp. 375-41915Bruce Hoffman, “Inside Terrorism”, 2nded, New York, Columbia University Press, 2006, pp40-41
  11. 11. Page | 6According to Pape, weak groups engage in terrorism because it is cost-effective in termsof fewer actors, finances and other resources. 16Heinzen sums it up by postulating that thechoice of terrorism as an instrument for achieving political objectives is necessitated by thedepletion of any other political coercion avenues.17Al-Shabaab’s resort to the use of terroristactivities as a means of widening its influence would be fundamental in this analysis.Particularly, it portrays the groups as a ‘weak’ entity that cannot engage in a conventionalwarfare with its adversaries in an attempt to seek military redress to its grievances, assumingthat peaceful mechanisms have been extensively exhausted.The advent of the Al-Shabaab in the Somalia conflict and its religious connotationshighlights the sacralisation dimension of the conflict. According to Lorenzo Vildino:18Sacralisation of a conflict is a process through which religion, or; in most cases, amilitant interpretation of it evolves from being an irrelevant or secondary factor at theonset of a conflict to shaping the views, actions, and aims of one or more of theconflict’s key actors.The infusion of militant religious undertones into a conflict is fundamental to the processof radicalisation, a concept which this author will explore in detail. The fundamentalcomponent of radicalisation is the existence of an ideology. An individual bearing thisconviction therefore justly perceive violence as an avenue for achieving the objectives of thevery conviction. As Picarelli aptly puts it, “radicalisation occurs when recruits align theirexisting worldview with the ideology of a group and commit themselves to using violence toachieve the group’s goals.” According to Evans and Neumann, the success of this process16Robert A. Pape, “ Dying To Win: The Strategic of Suicide Terrorism”, New York, Random House, 200517Karl Heinzen, “Murder” in Walter Laqueur (ed.) The Terrorism Reader: A HistoricalAnthology, (London: Wildwood House, 1979) pp. 53-64 (p.55)18Lorenzo Vidino , Raffaello Pantuccib, Evan Kohlmann, “Bringing Global Jihad to the Horn of Africa: al Shabaab,Western Fighters, and the Sacralization of the Somali Conflict”, African Security, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2010 pp. 216-238
  12. 12. Page | 7can be based on four core pillars, otherwise known as ingredients for the radicalisationprocess and includes; grievance, ideology, mobilisation, and tipping points. 19Witktorowicsadds that grievance creates a sense of alienation or disenfranchisement that in turn gives riseto a cognitive opening20, or the realisation to seek other options for redress. One of thoseoptions could be extremism.Modern technology, especially the internet has remained a vital propaganda tool forextremists and terrorist groups. The groups use it as an avenue for radicalisation, fund raising,and recruitment. Cronin argues that the rapid information transmission to a significantlylarger audience and that which has characteristically rendered terrorism “repugnantlyvoyeuristic” has been attributed to the existing technological advancements. 21Coll andGlasser concurs that, the internet has “emerged as the critical new dimension of twenty-firstcentury global terrorism with websites and electronic bulletin boards spreading ideologicalmessages perpetuating terrorist networks providing links between operatives in cyber spaceand sharing violent images to demonstrate ruthlessness and incite followers to action” 22In this thesis, the author seeks to underscore the significance of technology in sustenanceof the life line of Al-Shabaab on the fronts of radicalisation, recruitment of far flung potentialmembers, raising funds, reaching out to allies, and perpetuating propaganda campaigns.The most intrepid and tactful operation among terrorists, however, is to carry out anattack in an unfamiliar territory. According to Cronin, terrorist groups are successful incarrying out operations in foreign land with “passive support” or “active support” from the19Ryan Evans and Peter Neumann, “ Islamist Militant Radicalisation in Europe: ACritical Assessment of the Literature”, London: International Centre for the Study ofRadicalisation, April 2009),p 2420Quintan Wiktorowicz, “Radical Islam Rising: Muslim Extremism in the West”(Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), 85–13521Audrey Kurth Cronin, “How Terrorists Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns”, Princeton ,NJ,: Princeton University Press, 2011, p. 422Steve Coll and Susan B. Glasser, “Terrorists Turn to the Web as Base of Operations,” Washington Post, August 7, 2005
  13. 13. Page | 8indigenous population. Whereas passive support includes mild activities such as beinguncooperative with the security institutions, active support is, on the other hand, very vividand includes activities such as: raising revenues, creating a safe haven, and even hiding thegroup from the authorities. 23This aspect would further be explored by the author in theassessment of the role of the Somali community in Somalia, Kenya, and the rest of the EACin understanding the links between Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda.Peter Chalk and Glen Robinson posit that transnational terrorist attacks are expedited bythe existence of “franchise cells” of one or two people in the targeted country. 24The May2003 Casablanca, Morocco bombing that claimed 45 lives is a typical example.25Robinsonfurther highlight that such bombings are carried out by local terrorist operatives in thediaspora communities. 26On another front, Chalk argues that terrorists are always keen on taking advantage ofunmanned borders. Many “borders in the East African corridor are porous and subject to littleif any control.” 27In supporting the argument, he cites the 2004 Al-Qaeda’s successfulpenetration into the Jebel Kurush mountain range northeast of Sudan that runs parallel to theRed Sea and managing to set up training camps due to lack of border control.28Key to thediscussion in this thesis is the poorly governed 424-mile Kenya-Somalia border that stretchesfrom Mandera in the far north to Ras Kamboni which is right into the Indian Ocean.2923Cronin, “How Al-Qaida Ends: The Decline and Demise of Terrorist Groups,” 27.24Glenn E. Robinson, Jihadi Information Strategy: Sources, Opportunities, and Vulnerabilities, in InformationStrategy and Warfare: A guide to Theory and Practice, eds. John Arquilla and Douglas Borer (New York:Routledge, 2007), 96–98.25Ibid26Ibid27Peter Chalk, Case Study: The East Africa Corridor, in Ungoverned Territories: Understanding and ReducingTerrorism Risks (Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2007), 157,28Jamestown Foundation Briefs, “Al-Shabaab Expands Operational Zone with Kampala Bombing-But to WhatEnd?” Terrorism Monitor VIII, no. 28 (July 16, 2010): 2,29Ibid
  14. 14. Page | 9Menkhaus argues that contrary to the conventional wisdom that collapsed states are safehavens for international terrorists, the converse is true.30He instead postulates that it is thequasi states that yield a working environment for terrorists due to the thriving corruption.31Such countries include: Pakistan, Yemen, Kenya, Indonesia, Philippines and Guinea, amongothers.32The author would use this theory to advance his arguments for the undetectableexistence and flourishing of Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab cells in Kenya and possibly otherEAC states.According to A. Philips, foreign fighters in a terrorist group are essential for a strikebeyond its regular boundaries,33and the principal role played by foreign Jihadists in theProvince of Anbar, Iraq in the year 2006 gives credence to this argument. Foreign fighters notonly conducted martyrdom operations against the US and allied forces, but also worked asvolunteers and guaranteed maximum control over the population.34Foreign Jihadistsremained critical for the agenda of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) as they became the contact nodesfor the newly arrived terrorist groups from Jordan and Syria.35Philips denotes that it was notonly the diminishing support of the Anbar Sunni Muslims that contributed to the 2007 loss ofthe Province from the grips of the AQI, but also the decline of the inflow of foreignfighters.36In this thesis, the author will argue that Al-Shabaab’s stability and profile haveover the years been boosted by the strategic incorporation of foreign fighters within its ranks.A special report by the United States Institute for Peace posits that innate factorsemanating from external policies or actors may determine the process by which terrorists30Ken Menkhaus, “Somalia: State Collapse and the Threat of Terrorism”, p 7131Ibid, p 7432Ibid, p 7133Andrew Phillips, “How AQI Lost Iraq,” Australian Journal of International Affairs 63, no.1 (March 2009): 65–66,34Frederick W. Kagan, “Al-Qaeda in Iraq- How to Understand it: How to Defeat it,” The Weekly Standard 012, no. 48(September 10, 2007): p 335Kimberly Kagan, “The Anbar Awakening: Displacing Al-Qaeda from its Stronghold in Western Iraq,” The Institution forthe Study of War and Weekly Standard, (March 2007), pp 2–536Phillips, “How AQI Lost Iraq,” p 65.
  15. 15. Page | 10end.37Crenshaw weighs in by arguing that the decline of terrorism results from thegovernment’s response, the choices of the group, and the organisational resources.38Rapportnevertheless, is hesitant to predict an end to terrorism noting that the religious connotationsynonymous with the modern wave of terrorism makes it complicated to make such aprediction.39In this regard, the author would not only seek to explore some of the choices thatAl-Shabaab has undertaken, how those choices have impacted on the group’s image amongthe Somali populace, but also assess whether there is a declining trajectory in the authorityand power once wielded by Al-Shabaab following external interventions by AMISOM, KDFand the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF).Even though the author would conclude this paper by vouching for the engagement of theAl-Shabaab in a peace process or deal, Fred Charles posits that governments have hugedifficulties in trying to negotiate with organisations against which they are fighting in either acounter terrorism campaign or a traditional war.40Further, Al-Shabaab, like any other groupusing terrorist acts, may equally not be keen on any negotiation arrangement which alsoconforms to Guelke’s views. According to this perspective, negotiations may complicate aterrorist organisation’s effort to perpetrate its own absolutist perception in the justification ofusing terrorist violence.4137United States Institute of Peace, “How Terrorism Ends,” Special Report, No. 48 (Washington, D.C.: United StatesInstitute of Peace, May 25, 1999),pp 2-438Crenshaw, “How Terrorism Declines,” p. 8039David C. Rapoport, “The Four Waves of Modern Terrorism,” in Cronin and Ludes, Attacking Terrorism, pp. 46-7340Fred Charles like, Every War Must End, 2d ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), pp. 84-105.41Adrian Guelke, The Age of Terrorism and the International Political System (London: LB. Tauris, 1998), pp. 162-181.
  16. 16. Page | 111.3 Significance of the StudyThis study is timely because the on-course EAC regional integration provides anopportunity for its member states to be involved in the fight against Al-Shabaab, in one wayor another. Admittedly, the collective responsibility espoused in this thesis is for the securityof all the EAC citizens regardless of their respective country’s proximity to Somalia.The study therefore gives an insight into possible areas of collaboration among memberstates and further proposes mechanisms that can be employed on a state by state basis as wellas by the international community in an effort to combat Al-Shabaab-related terror threats.1.4 Research MethodologyThe findings presented in this thesis were based on an extensive desk research, interviewswith key informants as well as analysis of survey questionnaires from a sample ofrespondents from the EAC states specifically Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.The desk research involved heavy reliance on books, journals, reports, online datasources, you tube clips, online news and United Nations Security Council resolutions.The author conducted an asynchronous online interview with eight key informants whowere issued with the same questions thereby creating an opportunity for capturing divergentviews on the same areas of concern.Issuance of survey questionnaires to a representative population of the EAC was equallyessential as it enabled the author to grasp citizenry perception on the terror threat posed byAl-Shabaab, the KDF military incursion in Somalia as well as gather proposals for possible
  17. 17. Page | 12solutions to the Al-Shabaab menace. It is however imperative to note that thesequestionnaires were issued through a snowball sampling procedure. The relevance of thissampling technique was its discriminative attribute in the sense that the questions could onlybe handled by well informed respondents who understood the developments and dynamics ofthe EAC regional security. The questionnaires were consequently, restricted to at leastrespondents with college education.In total, the author received 102 questionnaires, with Dar es Salaam, Tanzania andKampala, Uganda sharing nine respondents each. The remaining 84 questionnaires werereceived from different Kenyan towns as follows: Kisii-11, Kisumu-11, Migori-8, Mombasa-10, Nairobi-34, and Nakuru-10. The questionnaires were then analysed by the SPSS analysissoftware and results tabulated as shown in Chapter 4.1.5 ConstraintsAs already noted, a lot has been written about the Somalia conflict including the Al-Shabaab phenomenon. Nevertheless, the current transnational terrorism tendencies adoptedby the group (Al-Shabaab), which is the core of this thesis is relatively modern. The shiftingfocus from Al-Shabaab’s threat to stability in the Horn of Africa to EAC and the KDFmilitary incursion in Somalia are even most recent and hence not well researcheddevelopments. Based on this limitation, the author overwhelmingly relied on online newsreports some of which may not be feasible to authenticate.
  18. 18. Page | 13It was also impossible to track down all the key informants, while others responded at atime when some components of the interview had changed given the dynamics of the KDForchestrated military incursion in Somalia.Finally, the number of respondents may not have been representative enough to capturethe overall perception of the actual EAC population. Consequently, findings from this studyshould be interpreted with utmost caution.1.6 CONCLUSIONHaving given a breakdown of the various components of this study ranging from thebackground, through literature review, to the research methodology, at this point, it is criticalto delve into the Somalia state collapse and subsequent outcomes which Chapter 2 presents.
  19. 19. Page | 14CHAPTER TWO2.0 SOMALIA- COLLAPSED STATEHOOD AND OUTCOMES2.1 THE PATH TO STATE COLLAPSE2.1.1 BackgroundI. Elbadawi and N. Sambanis discount the notion that the principal drive behind Africancivil strife is the continent’s diverse ethnic divide.42In their argument; the high prevalence ofwar in Africa is not due to the ethno-linguistic fragmentation of its countries, but rather to thehigh levels of poverty, failed political institutions and economic dependence on naturalresources.43Admittedly, focus on this narrow aspect of ethnic diversity has entirelyobscured the very fundamentals of the African civil wars. For Somalia, however, clan andsub-clan allegiances which are derivatives of negative ethnicity are central to what hasbecome one of the continents longest conflicts.In an era where the dynamics of global politics is almost entirely embedded in economiccompetition, Africa, given its vast natural resources, is at the epicentre of this abyss. Thispredicament which the continent is sucked into has metamorphosed to the effect that thelarger society is incessantly predisposed to indecipherable consequences of war. Itthen makes sense that behind every African civil war there is a likelihood of anexternal mastermind. This analogy highlights the backdrop upon which the Somalia crisiswas bred and how this instability has guided the country into becoming a theatre of proxy42Ibrahim Elbadawi and Nicholas Sambanis, “Why are there so many civil wars in Africa? Understanding andpreventing violent conflict”, Journal of African Economies 9, no. 3 (2000): 244-26943Ibid.
  20. 20. Page | 15wars during and in the post-cold war era. The Somalia state collapse was therefore, aneventuality that was realistically inevitable.The concept of intractability, according to Burgess and Burgess entails intolerable moraldifferences such as; culture, world view, religion, valuable essential resources for survivaland domination.44The Somalia community, however, experiences a minimal clash on culture,religion, and to some extent, world views. This, therefore, implies that the Burgess criteriondoes not entirely apply to this context, yet it remains one of the most intractable conflicts inthe modern world.Somalia is a rare example of an African State. In contrast to the rest in the continent, it islargely composed of one ethnic community that predominantly proclaims Islam as the mainreligion or faith. Despite her existence as a mono-ethnic African society, the Somali people’sidentity is a composite of a more overarching element- the Clan families. This phenomenon isdeeply rooted into the societal substratum and can be traced back to medieval times, longbefore Somalia’s civil war or even independence. The genealogic discourse has thereforetaken precedence over any other facets of allegiance as it is the main premise for determiningan individual’s exact place in the society,45something that is quite symbolicfor the population.Even though the Somali people share a common culture based on agro-pastoral customs,their traditions, socio-economic and political lives have customarily revolved around the clanstructure. In essence, the clan and sub-clan families establish the foundation upon which the44Heidi Burgess and Guy Burgess, “Intractability and the Frontier of the Field,” Conflict Resolution Quarterly 24, no. 2(Winter 2006): 177-18645Peter J. Pham, “State Collapse, Insurgency, and Famine in the Horn of Africa: Legitimacy and the Ongoing SomaliCrisis,” The Journal of the Middle East and Africa 2, no. 2 (2011): 153-187
  21. 21. Page | 16Somalia confederacy is founded, and hence governance is in accordance with the complexrelations where loyalty is determined by genealogy. 46Somali Clan families can be broadly divided into two distinct groups:i. The nomadic pastoralists,ii. The cultivators and agro-pastoralists.The Darood (largest clan in Puntland), Dir, Hawiye, Isaq (from Somaliland), Digil andRahanweyn were predominantly nomadic pastoralists, also known as ‘‘noble’’ (bilis) clans.47The Digil and Rahanweyn (located in Mogadishu, among other places),48collectively knownas Digil Mirifle, were traditionally cultivators and agro-pastoralists. 49However, a third tieralso exists in the Somali social hierarchy and it consists of minority clans whosemembers are known as the Sab. This group had a historical occupation on metal work andtanning, something which rendered them ritually unclean in the eyes of the nomadic ‘‘nobleclans.’’50To this extent, it is emergent that although the Somali people “consideredthemselves bound together by a common language, an essentially nomadic pastoral cultureand by the shared profession of Islam”51, the clan structure remained the fundamentaldeterminant of the peoples way of life and hence political trajectory.Prior to independence, Somalia consisted of two territories, which were under Italian andBritish administration. The south and east coast were formerly under Italian administration46Meredith 2005: p. 46547Peter J. Pham, “State Collapse, Insurgency, and Famine in the Horn of Africa: Legitimacy and the Ongoing SomaliCrisis,” The Journal of the Middle East and Africa 2, no. 2 (2011): 153-18748Kaplan 2008: p. 11649Supra at Footnote 47.50I. M. Lewis, A Pastoral Democracy (London: Oxford University Press, 1961).51I. M. Lewis, ‘‘Visible and Invisible Differences: The Somali Paradox,’’ Africa 74, no. 4 (November 2004): 489-515
  22. 22. Page | 17with Mogadishu as its capital, while the area along the Gulf of Adens coastline was theBritish colony otherwise known as the British Somaliland.52Historically, the present dayDjibouti was part of the French Somaliland.The British protectorate of Somaliland became the first of Somali territories to gainindependence (June 26, 1960). A year later, the Somalia Italiana, a territory then administeredby Italy as a United Nations Trust and which had been an Italian colony before the secondWorld War attained its independence.53The founding of Republic of Somalia through amerger of these two independent states was arguably a decision not so carefully thoughtthrough. Securing a unified Somalia may have been beneficial to the Somali people, but wasequally a premature conception that disregarded critical considerations such as the respectiveleadership’s failure to foresee the dangers that would possibly emanate from perceptiblefactors, including: The fact that these two states were under different colonial regimes, andhence their divergent experiences may not be instantly reconciled, and most importantly;none of them had a sense of what it was to be an independent and self-governing country,54both were in a learning process.The conception of African Nationalism was strongly evidenced by the founding of theRepublic of Somalia, which sought to highlight a strong sense of national identity. Theexpectations of establishing an identity revolving around a durable and unified statehoodcharacterised the era that succeeded the attainment of independence.55Nevertheless, theregime’s advocacy for the right to self-determination of all the Somali people in theneighbouring countries of Kenya and Ethiopia was considered an affront to the concept ofgood neighbourliness.52Meredith 2005: pp. 464-46553Peter J. Pham, Supra.54Ibid55Meredith 2005: pp. 464-465
  23. 23. Page | 182.1.2 Siad Barre Regime, Cold War factor and Civil War break outHaving attained its independence three years ahead of Kenya, Somalia had an upper handin charting their future. The time for pan-Somalism (greater Somalia), a conception theregime inherently believed in was therefore ripe. The preamble of the approved 1961 Somaliaconstitution thus read: ‘The Somali Republic promotes by legal and peaceful means, theunion of the territories.’56Further, the constitution provided that all ethnic Somalis, no matterwhere they resided, were citizens of the Republic.57It can then be argued that the regime’smeticulous insertion of its philosophy into the constitution was to raise national awareness ofthe ‘legal right to pursue the dream of pan Somalism. Again, it could have also been apurposeful coercion of the neighbours (Kenya and Ethiopia) to cede territories occupied bythe Somali speaking population since it had become a constitutional provision. In the author’sopinion, this development was the beginning of what can be considered ‘the badneighbourliness phenomenon between Somalia and its two neighbours.Siad Barre’s nationalistic tendencies took shape one year after seizing power followingthe assassination of President Shermarke in October, 1969. This was evidenced by hisproclamation of "Somali Democratic Republic" as an officially Marxist state58, anddetermination “to stamp out clan identity as an anachronistic barrier to progress and thatwhich had to be replaced by nationalism and “Scientific Socialism.”59He advocated for theconcept of “Soomaaliweyn”- a greater Somalia, which comprised those regions in the Hornof Africa that had historically served as residences for ethnic Somali population. The Star inthe Somali flag therefore bears a symbolic connotation with its individual points representing56Global Security, “Somalia-Ethiopia, Kenya Conflict,” Military, (accessed on March 30, 2012)57Ibid58Peter J. Pham, Supra59Ibid
  24. 24. Page | 19five historical regions inhabited by the Somali people: Italian Somaliland (Somalia), BritishSomaliland (Somalia), French Somaliland (Djibouti), the Ogaden region of Ethiopia andNorthern District Frontier of Kenya which Siad Barre sought to unite under a GreaterSomalia. Notably, even as Siad Barre struggled to achieve his ambitious project, the volatilityof Somalia and its strategic location relative to the Red Sea put it at the epicentre of Coldwar. Whereas Ethiopia, a long-time adversary of Somalia had the United States of America asher ally, Somalia was an ardent client of the Soviet Union.60The United States underPresident Jimmy Carter was later to sever links with the Ethiopian regime of Mengistu HaileMariam over its repressive human rights record.61The strained relationship between the US and Ethiopia earned Somalia army a momentaryvictory following her invasion of Ethiopia (1977-1978) in support of the self-determinationseeking Somalis in Ogaden region. They successfully captured most parts of the territory withthe initial backing of the Soviet Union.62However, it was at this point that the theatrics ofCold War manifested itself as the Soviet Union deserted Somalia amidst the war and opted toshift allegiance to camp Ethiopia.63According to this author, the Soviet Union’s abrupt shift in support from the Somalis toEthiopians put two theories into focus: It may have been unexpected by the Carteradministration and hence a miscalculation on the possible effects of withdrawing support forSomalia. In this regard, the US not only granted Ethiopia a military triumph over Somalia,but equally guaranteed a Soviet Union win against her. The other theory focuses on thegeopolitics of the two countries (Somalia and Ethiopia). Somalias strategic position relativeto Ethiopia may have prompted the USs decision to sever links with Ethiopia well aware that60Peter Woodward, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Horn of Africa (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2006), 22–27.61Ibid62Meredith 2005: pp. 464-46563Ibid p. 467
  25. 25. Page | 20the Soviet Union would take the bait (abandon the strategic Somalia and cross over toEthiopia’s side), which it actually did. From this point of view, the US long term agendacarried the day. The switch in allegiance, though not morally justifiable (following the closeassociation between Somalia and The Soviet Union) underscored an existing paradigm ofweaker nations being a pawn in a more complex chess of global politics.In view of these developments, the US subsequently became the Barre regime’sardent supporter, providing both economic and military aid until 1989. As a Cold War proxy,Somalia navigated through a foreign funded hyper militarization spending with an average of20.45% of its budget being channelled to the military agenda. 64In the 1980s, foreign aid wasequivalent to half the gross domestic product. The US contributed 800 million dollar worth ofaid, a quarter of which was in support of the military capacity of Somalia.65Oscillating between the two powers at the centre of the Cold War, the Somalia militaryjunta benefited immensely from the proceeds of this global dilemma. The end of Cold Warand subsequent withdrawal of the initial massive financial support that sustained then one ofAfricas largest military forces, attested to the fact that it was never about Somalia orEthiopia, rather the main players in the Cold War.Soldiers from the Somali army, one of Africas biggest and most well equipped, no longerreceived their salaries from the government, and as such were confined to selling theirweapons in order to survive.66The states lack of capacity to protect its citizens encouragedreliance on the respective clans as the guardians and providers of security.67For a populationthat had endured years of nonexistence of basic human needs, regular organized clan-basedmilitia and uncontrolled weapon proliferation, the advent of economic decline became the64Osman and Souaré 2007: p. 1365Meredith 2005: p. 46866Osman and Souaré 2007: p. 1567Ibid p. 10
  26. 26. Page | 21tipping point for an explosive outbreak of violence.68As the central government finallycollapsed, there subsequently existed a vacuum that was soon to be rapidly filled by rivalpolitical factional leaders turned warlords.The most catastrophic period in Somalias path to political obscurity was the overthrow ofSiad Barres regime (1991) and the subsequent failure by the bickering clans to agree on theway forward in the appointment of a universally acceptable leader.69As Lyons and Samaterput it, “this departure marked the formal end of a difficult era, but did not usher in a newone,"70instead, it was the beginning of the civil war.2.2 AL-SHABAAB: THE OUTCOME OF A STATE COLLAPSE2.2.1 Chronology of the Al-Shabaab evolutionIt is significant to point that Al-Shabaab did not emerge at the ouster of Siad Barre.Nevertheless, circumstances that succeeded the coup, like the civil war outbreak laid down68Ibid p.1469“Somalia profile”, BBC, February 10, 2012, (accessed April 13, 2012)70Lyons and Samater: 1995. P.7
  27. 27. Page | 22the necessary infrastructure upon which the group was to be founded. This narrative,therefore, seeks to validate the presumed linkage between the emergence of Al-Shabaab andthe lawlessness attributed to the absence of a functioning government in Somalia.Al Itihad al Islami (AlAI), an armed Islamist movement and an “early prototype of anislamist group that is both a product of radicalisation process and a radicalising agent in itsown right”71came into prominence to fill in the power void. This group subscribed to theSalafi Jihadi ideology and radicalisation within the Somali speaking region was critical to itsagenda.72Even though there is little evidence linking AIAI with radicalisation of other non-Somalipopulations beyond the countrys borders, this may not have been entirely true for theneighbouring Kenya. The Crisis Group thus reports: 73AIAI maintained a formidable clandestine support network in North Eastern Provincethroughout the 1990s and beyond. It actively recruited Jihadis, raised fund and kept a low-level presence along the border districts of Mandera and Garissa. It infiltrated the influentialWahhabi clerical establishment that controls most mosques in the province; gained control ofcharities and funnelled zakat (Islamic tax) money to support its activities and start commercialventures for its members; and radicalised and recruited Kenyan Somalis.Pan Somalism, the philosophy that defined Siad Barres regime became a pillar of theAIAI brand of Salafi Jihadism in its quest for “re-establishing the Islamic caliphate.”74Evidently, the tenacity of the AIAIs pursuit for this intention was strategically reinforced bytwo schemes:71Crisis Group Africa Briefing No 85, Kenyan Somali Islamist Radicalization, 25 January 201272Ibid73Ibid74Crisis Group Africa Report No 45, Somalia: Countering Terrorism in a Failed State, 23 May 2002
  28. 28. Page | 23(a) Endear itself to the Somalia people.(b) Attempt to infiltrate the neighbouring countries with Somali populations. The secondobjective, though superficially ambitious, was easy to achieve in NEP of Kenya dueto an existing disenfranchisement among the Kenyan-Somalis. Political anddevelopmental marginalisation of NEP coupled with the inherent belief in PanSomalism catalysed the process of radicalising the population.75The AIAI expansion of influence from NEP to the Coast Province of Kenya, as well asthe attempts to infiltrate the Ogaden region of Ethiopia could, in part, justify the PanSomalisim philosophy. However, its links with Al-Qaeda East African franchise (that wasresponsible for the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania) was an affirmationof the groups subscription to a different, or at least more than one cause. The broader picturemay have been to take advantage of the vulnerability of members of the ethnic Somali andMuslim community in these regions to entrench the ideology of Salafi Jihadism. In thisrespect, AIAI ceased to be a Somalia predicament, but a regional, if not global one. By thebeginning of 2000, military pressure from Ethiopia, “strategic miscalculation and internaldissent led AIAI to lose its influence and splinter into several groups.”76The ICG notes that:77Military defeat did not lead to the demise of its (AIAI) extremist ideology. If anything, itadded to its virulence, increased its force and inspired the emergence of the Al-Shabaab. Norwas the organisational disintegration total, as most accounts suggest. Key members scatteredover the Somali-speaking Horn of Africa-Kenya included-and beyond, blending in and even75Crisis Group Africa Briefing No 85, Kenyan Somali Islamist Radicalization, 25 January 201276Lorenzo Vidino et al: p.220.Bringing global Jihad to the Horn of Africa77Crisis Group Africa Briefing No 85, Kenyan Somali Islamist Radicalization, 25 January 2012
  29. 29. Page | 24regaining political and business influence. A year later, they formed the leadership of nucleusof the Union of Islamic Courts and later Al-Shabaab.The rise of Islamic Courts Union (ICU) after the military defeat of AIAI highlighted theresilience of Islamic extremism in Somalia and the durability of an ideology underscored byunwavering resolve of the new actors to construct a Somalia State under Sharia. The ICUwas mainly composed of a loose coalition of clerics and militia78whose governanceframework was informed by strict adherence to Sharia law. “Their strict interpretation ofIslam had little in common with the local traditional Sufi practices of most Somalis, yet thepopulation was willing to tolerate ICU’s zeal in exchange for some long desired security.”79For a citizenry helplessly watching their country degenerate into a war economy, securityremained critical and it did not matter who could offer it. The group’s popularity against theTransitional Federal Government (TFG) therefore soared on the premise of its ‘commitment’to end banditry and reign on war lords.As the ICU expanded its influence, the fragility of the TFG increased proportionately,leading to further de-legitimisation. The ENDF invaded ICU strongholds, but this time at theinvitation of the TFG. Notably, ENDF was once again instrumental in slowing down themomentum of another emerging extremist outfit it Somalia.The ENDF invasion achieved one vital objective, the dispersion of ICU and associatedmilitia groups. Following its previous dismantling of AIAI and re-emergence of extremismthrough ICU, the prospects of an absolute eradication of the ideology by forceful means wasrealistically low. Even though the past ENDF interventions ostensibly uprooted AIAI outfit,the emergence of another group with the same ideology reveals otherwise. It is thenreasonable to argue that the period of calm that succeeded the incursions created necessary78Lorenzo Vidino et al: p.220.Bringing global Jihad to the Horn of Africa79Ibid
  30. 30. Page | 25platforms for the individual members to retreat, regroup, re-strategise and return to the fold ina different form as long as the structures for widening the ideological influence remainedunparalleled. With the ICU dispersed, not necessarily sent into oblivion, there emerged a newgroup, the Al-Shabaab.2.2.2 Understanding the Al-ShabaabObjective and Composition of the groupKenya is currently grappling with the challenges of Al-Shabaab related insecurity, but inthe wake of East African regional integration, the growing influence of Al-Shabaab hasconsequently shifted the threat focus from frontline states (Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya) tothe rest of the EAC.Al-Shabaab is not an entirely new group. As has been discussed, the ICU was a loosecoalition between the clerics and militia. Al-Shabaab was therefore the militant wing of theICU whose prominence can be traced back to the point of Ethiopian led invasion (2006-2009)of Somalia at the invitation by TFG.That Al-Shabaab is at the core of extremism in the EAC is no doubt, but the main concernis the resilience of the group amidst its current crisis. Whereas it can be argued that bothAIAI and ICU had a primary aim of creating a stable Somalia state based on Islamic tenets,the same argument cannot be distinctively extrapolated for Al-Shabaab’s discourse. The Al-Shabaab “espouses a strict global Jihadist ideology, seeing itself simply as a regional footsoldier in a larger millenarian struggle between Islam and infidelity”80with the current socio-economic and political landscape in Somalia providing the necessary impetus for achievingthis objective. It is therefore plausible to reason that the stability of Somalia is not part of the80Ibid
  31. 31. Page | 26group’s agenda as it would not only put their activities under scrutiny, but also shut downtheir life line. Still, other sources single out Al-Shabaab’s primary objective as having to dowith building of an army that places Islamic identity above clan loyalties.81Importantly, Al-Shabaab has equally admitted to waging jihad against the West and other foreigninterventions as part of the Al-Qaeda.82Even at the emergent stages, the notion that Al-Shabaab was holistically a Somalichallenge was disputable. However, the roots of the group have since ramified to cover therest of the EAC at unprecedented rates with Kenya and Tanzania being easy targets forreasons which will be explained later in this thesis. To date, there is overwhelming evidencethat Al-Shabaab is not only recruiting from its Somalia population, or among KenyanSomalis, but also other Muslim communities in the neighbouring countries.83Recruitment: Within and beyondThe exact number of Al-Shabaab’s membership may not be publicly known, but it isestimated that by the fall of ICU, the number was ranging between 3000 and 7000.84Still,this might not be entirely true as other militants were fighting alongside the Al-Shabaab.For an extremist group struggling to establish itself amidst innumerable difficulties, it islogical to submit that Al-Shabaab has fared beyond expectations in driving its recruitmentagenda. Since its inception in 2006, the group has proven that it has the capability ofrecruiting members from within Somalia and beyond. Despite this elaborate recruitmentdrive, the numbers have remained fairly low.81 p582Ibid83Al-Jazeera: Kenya blast suspect claims al-Shabab ties84
  32. 32. Page | 27Like many other extremist groups or militia in different conflicts across the globe, Al-Shabaab equally targets children as potential fighters. In the year 2010, approximately 2000children had been abducted by Al-Shabaab and arraigned for military training invaried camps within Somalia.85The recruitment was found to be systematic, widespread andaggressively executed in central and Southern Somalia. 86Existing data is in line with the popular belief that local Somali community forms thebackbone of the organisation’s recruitment platform. It is also notable that Al-Shabaab cutsacross the clan substratum thereby defeating the historical inter clan animosities. In somequarters, the group may be seen as a unifying figure, perhaps on the premise of a fallaciousperception that it is fighting for the sovereignty and dignity of Somalia. This narrative, if true,may explain in part why the outfit has progressively secured the services of Somali volunteerrecruits.Key to Al-Shabaab recruitment drive is the Somalia diaspora, an achievement which putsthe group at a prestigious position relative to other global extremist organisations. Using itsstealth network among the Somali diaspora, Al-Shabaab has thus penetrated North America,East Africa, Europe and Middle East.87Through these structures, the group has recruitedabout 1000 diaspora members as well as 200-400 non Somali Muslims.88The highlypublicised cases of the ‘Minneapolis 20’ and Toronto 6’ are global case studies pointing tothe recruitment of 20 Somalia-US citizens from Minneapolis and six Somali-Canadiancitizens from Toronto and further attests to the overwhelming success attributed to itsdiaspora recruitment drive.8985’s ‘Al-Shabaab?’88Ibid89
  33. 33. Page | 28The Majority investigative report on Al-Shabaab emphasised the reality of Al-Shabaab’sactive recruitment and radicalisation network inside the US targeting Muslim-Americanconverts, such as a top Al- Shabaab Commander.90It further reveals that:91• At least 40 or more Americans have joined Al-Shabaab;• So many Americans have joined that at least 15 of them have been killed fighting withAl-Shabaab, as well as three Canadians;• Three Americans who returned to the U.S. were prosecuted, and one awaits extraditionfrom The Netherlands;• At least 21 or more American Al-Shabaab members overseas remain unaccounted forand pose a direct threat to the U.S. homeland.Shirwa Ahmed became the first known American suicide bomber to have blown uphimself in Somaliland as part of the Al-Shabaab attack.92This event may have been theclearest indicator of Al-Shabaab’s infiltration of the country (US). Nevertheless, it is notonly the US, Canada and Europe that have made contributions to Al-Shabaab’s regiment,other countries including Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan and Kenya have had theirshare of subscriptions.93According to Washiala of the Supreme Council of Muslims, Taita Taveta, Al-Shabaabrecruitment drive runs deep into Kenya, citing various incidences where parents havedisclosed that their children were recruited by the Al-Shabaab.94Harper concurs with his90; also see!; (accessed on March 27, 2012)91;92 with Mohammed Washalla Abdi, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, Taita Taveta Country Chariman, April10, 2012
  34. 34. Page | 29observation identifying NEP of Kenya and the Somali-dominated parts of Eastleigh as areasprone to Al-Shabaab radicalisation and recruitment.95As been noted, Al-Shabaab’s ability to recruit within and beyond its borders puts it in avery admirable position relative to other extremist groups. The successful US recruitmentprogramme “inside the tight-knit and culturally isolated Somalia-American community,which Al-Qaeda Central based in Pakistan does not have inside the US”96is critical to thegroup’s strategy for upgrading its profile. The number of recruits, though minimal, remainsconsequential as long as the message resonates across the globe. This capability, the authoropines, could be why Al-Shabaab must be at the centre of the Al-Qaeda strategy.Funding and arming the Al-ShabaabThe Al-Shabaab’s continued existence is hinged on its ability to muster monetaryresources that facilitate its running uninterrupted. However, given the group’s incapability topenetrate the entire Somalia in addition to the country’s inordinate poverty levels, there is anoverwhelming credibility to the existing evidence that points at its financial muscle as beingconstantly boosted by the diaspora.95Interview with Mary Harper, BBC Africa Editor and Author of Getting Somalia Wrong? March 3, 201296
  35. 35. Page | 30According to the UN Monitoring Group report on Somalia and Eritrea, Al-Shabaabrevenue stream can be divided into four distinct categories:97• Taxation and extortion• Commerce, trade and contraband• Diaspora support• External assistanceGiven the insecurity that has engulfed Somalia for over two decades, it is understandablethat the population is constantly weary about the corresponding lawlessness. Al-Shabaabseeks to ‘bridge’ this security gap by presenting itself as the alternative to insecurity while, infact, it is a major composite of the very insecurity. This gesture of provision of ‘security’,however, does not come for free. The group consequently solicits monetary support fromlocal mosques, imams, communities and even businesses in exchange for the much neededsecurity.98But, that is not the extent to which Al-Shabaab can go in consolidating its revenuebase within Somalia as both taxation and extortionist tendencies are employed in equalmeasure. The report by Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) statesthat:99Al-Shabab instructed aid agencies operating in Beletweyne to pay 10,000 USD within 15days, in order to work for the next six months, after which agencies should pay an additional6,000 USD for another six-month work permit, and transmitted similar instructions to all aidagencies operating in Middle and Lower Shabelle, Bay, Bakool, Middle and Lower Jubaregions.97, Somalia, Humanitarian access August 2010,
  36. 36. Page | 31Commerce, on the other hand, is Al-Shabaab’s greatest strategy in keeping its monetarystream afloat. The port of Kismayu, which the group took control of after a decisive battleagainst the Ras Kamboni forces in October 2009, together with the secondary ports of Markaand Baraawe constitute the most important sources of income for the group.100“Al-Shabaabgenerates between $35 million and $50 million per annum from port revenues, of which atleast $15 million is based on trade in charcoal and sugar.”101Businesses involving contraband goods have been thriving in Somalia to the benefit ofAl-Shabaab102with ports under its control acting as the hub for both reception and dispatch.Al-Shabaab has built a business empire revolving around export of charcoal whose proceeds“in turn finances the import of sugar, much of which is subsequently smuggled across bordersas contraband into neighbouring countries, particularly Kenya.”103Beyond the Somalia borders, Al-Shabaab has developed a sophisticated moneyremittance regime through its diaspora networks. The role of the diaspora remittances iscritical to the group’s financial lifeline and is aided by a fully utilitarian infrastructure. Whileremittances to Somalia are estimated at USD 1 Billion per annum, it is uncertain if all themoney is used for legitimate purposes.104In the US (San Diego’s Heights neighbourhood), federal prosecutors pointed an accusingfinger at the al-Masjid Al-Ansar Mosque imam (Mohammed Mohamud) and three otherSomali-Americans for sending cash to a top Al-Shabaab leader (late Aden Hashi Ayrow).According to the prosecutors, “a co-defendant in a taped telephone contact with Ayrowinstructed Mohamud to “hold back 20 or 30 trusted people at the mosque to tell them to100 p 28101Ibid102Interview with Dr. Kimani J, Free-Lance Consultant, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building in East Africa, March21,2012103 p 29104
  37. 37. Page | 32contribute money.””105Other judicial proceedings against individuals suspected to haveaided Al-Shabaab, either materially or financially have also been witnessed in other countriessuch as Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.106There are insurmountable evidence and literature on Al-Shabaabs sources of funding, butit is also in the public domain that the group is highly militarised. The evolving debate is thusthe presumed link between the funds at the groups disposal and the acquisition of weapons.Nevertheless, even in the absence of such a link, the group, which is not a conventional army,has had a regular supply of weapons over the years, the question then becomes: Where dothey come from?The emanating situation in Somalia following the ouster of Siad Barre motivated thepassage of the UNSC Resolution 751 (1992) which sought to impose an arms’ embargo onSomalia.107However, the evolving situation called for the passage of other successiveresolutions to keep pace with the latest developments. The 2006 partial lift on the Somaliaarms embargo pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSC) Resolution1725 (2006) was not only to provide leeway for the regional forces to intervene in Somalia,but also to “arm and train the TFG security forces.”108Even though one may be tempted toconclude that the arms proliferation during the Somalia proxy cold war and post Barresregime is to blame for arming the Al-Shabaab operatives, it is equally plausible that thenecessary exemptions provided for by UNSC Resolution 1725 (2006) necessitated the vice.The United Nations (UN) report on Somalia and Eritrea unearths a worrying trend, butthe evidence that AMISOM’s ammunition were found in the hands of Al-Shabaab operatives,105 pp 31-32107,,,RESOLUTION,SOM,,3b00f16a4,0.html108
  38. 38. Page | 33the very outfit being fought is even tragic.109The discovery opens a new Pandora’s Box andputs into perspective very dire concerns, which run deep into the Somalia war economy. Themonitoring group identifies “lack of international support to the TFG and corruption at theministerial level” as being the driving forces behind TFG’s soldiers’ low wages which are inthe range of USD (100-150).110This insensitivity is seen as the impetus for the sales of armsand ammunition to Al-Shabaab and other militia groups as compensation for the lowearnings. However, the challenge is not just confined to the TFG as other reports have cometo a logical conclusion that Ethiopian and AMISOM personnel have equally sold weapons tonon-state actors in the conflict.111The blurred or absence of concrete evidence against Eritrea has done little to absolve thecountry from her alleged role in the Somalia conflict. The country has however responded tothese accusations viciously and discredited them as mere allegations. Regardless of herassertion, the Monitoring Group reported in 2005 that Eritrea had supported and armedgroups in Somalia fighting the TFG.112The March 2010 report also states that Eritrea hadprovided significant and sustained support ranging from political to financial and material, aswell as arms, ammunition and training to armed opposition groups in Somalia since at least2007.113Yemen has equally been repeatedly mentioned as a possible hub for the Somalia destinedweapons, but the Monitoring Group was quick to add that “the assertion is impossible to109 p 44110Ibid pp 42111 Nations, Security Council, Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant toSecurity Council resolution 1639 (2005), annex to S/2006/229, 4 May 2006, pp. 10–13.113Ibid pp 22-24
  39. 39. Page | 34quantify." Further, the government of Yemen denies that arms and ammunition are smuggledfrom its area of jurisdiction.114Weapon infiltration in Somalia does not give a clear indication as to which militia groupends up being the beneficiary, but the distinct position held by Al-Shabaab as the main TFGantagonist and the fact that it controls the most strategic positions through which the sameweapons may get into Somalia leaves little doubt that the group end up with a majority of theshipment if not all of it.Organisational StructureAl-Shabaab has evolved as a group that boasts hierarchical structure typical of anyregular organisation. Whereas the exact dimensions of this structure are not fully known,hints from the group have led to identification of particular leaders being associated withspecific positions. This has also been verified by various global intelligence agencies, butwith the war on terror campaign being stepped up, many of these leaders have died underdifferent circumstances, yet their replacements have never been hard to come by.Supreme to the Al-Shabaab’s structure is the ten member shura council that determinesall major objectives and operations.115It is led by an emir whom, despite his significance,does not exude independent authority.116Politics, media and military operations aresubdivisions falling under the council.117Al-Shabaab has also established a military branch(army of hardship) under shura council and a more judicial branch (army of morality) to help114 p 41115 p 9116Ibid117Ibid
  40. 40. Page | 35uphold rule of law and order.118These two armies are thus referred to as Jaysh Al-Usra andJaysh Al-Hesbah respectively.119A notable facet of the Al-Shabaab’s governance structure is that the regions (matching thepre-existing districts) under its control are manned by the leadership’s appointed governor(wali).120Al-Shabaab administration at the district level comprises Shari‘a courts, offices ofzakat and military units allied with either the movement’s Jaysh al-‘Usrah, or the Jaysh al-Hisbah.121Mechanisms for ‘winning hearts and minds’ of the Somali peopleAfter many years of civil war that resulted into the installation of 14 separategovernments between 1991 and 2010122(all of which have been unable to restore stability),there was an understandable sense of desperation among the Somali citizens. The advent ofICU on June 5, 2006 and consequent defeat of CIA backed Warlords led to the capture ofMogadishu, thereby instigating what for the first time became a period of relative peace.”123This would conceivably be the initial positive impression that the ICU and Al-Shabaabcoalition had on the Somalia population, thus endearing itself to the people.As already been accounted for in this thesis, the Somali people are nationalistic withvested pride in both their country and religion. To this extent, even though Ethiopian invasionof Somalia at the invitation of the TFG led to the collapse of the ICU, it equally invokedundertones of nationalism among the population. The perceptions of Ethiopia being ahistorical enemy among the Somalis, coupled with the invasion arguably prompted the full118Somalia: Understanding Al-Shabaab’, Institute of Security Studies Situation Report, 3 June 2009119Ibid120 also see Somalia: Understanding Al-Shabaab’, Institute of Security Studies Situation Report, 3 June 2009121
  41. 41. Page | 36fledge formation of Al-Shabaab as a viable force to counter the ‘enemy’ and ostensiblyrestore the lost ‘glory.’Whereas other militant groups within Somalia have been confined to their own backyard,the influence (negative or positive) of Al-Shabaab in South Central Somalia has remainedunparalleled. Its ability to draw membership from across the population despite‘irreconcilable’ differences among individual clans enhances the perception that it ascribes to“a broader irredentist vision of uniting Somalia-inhabited areas of East Africa under anIslamist caliphate.”124Prospects of an Al-Shabaab led pan Somalism, which was an originalvision of the independent Somalia, revived the pride of nationalism, which, in effect, madethe group more endearing to a section of the population.The Al-Shabaab also uses coercion to instil fear and authority among the population. Thesubmission of the Somalia people to the group’s leadership is not entirely on a willing basisand hence a confirmation to an existing sense of hopelessness. In 2009, the extremist groupgrabbed the headline for publicly amputating a hand and a foot from each of the four‘convicts’ suspected of stealing guns and mobile phones.125This harsh implementation of theShari’a has not only alienated Al-Shabaab from the population it purports to serve, but hasalso imbued fear which has enabled it to operate without boundaries.Warfare TacticThe Al-Shabaab does not necessarily engage in conventional warfare, instead, the groupprefers to employ guerrilla tactic against formal armies. The remarkable success recorded bythe group so far can be attributed to the opponent’s inability to distinguish between who Al-Shabaab is and who is not, a tactic that the group has greatly exploited to its advantage.124 p 6125
  42. 42. Page | 37However, the Al- Shabaab’s current engagement in suicide bombings126has been afundamental shift to its approach to war and given credence to its political branding as aterrorist organisation. In a wider scheme to popularize this mode of operation, the Al-Shabaab has sought to exhibit its resolve to ‘adversaries’ by targeting key facilities includinga UN compound, the Ethiopian consulate, a presidential palace and two intelligence facilitiesin Puntland and Somalia.127Other tactics include bombings, grenade attacks, kidnappings andtargeted assassinations, including those of the leading Sulufi clerics.128,129,130PropagandaThe most essential tool for the proliferation of Al-Shabaabs propaganda is the media.Aware of the power of this component, Al-Shabaab has extensively utilised multiple mediasources, including radio, TV and the internet to propagate its ideals and propaganda.131, 132The internet has predominantly worked to the advantage of Al-Shabaab as it is a means thathas not only facilitated the group’s interaction with the youth beyond the borders of Somaliaat minimal costs, but has also been critical for their correspondences with the Al-Qaeda. AsLauren Ploch states, “Al Shabaab uses the internet to emphasize its commitment to globalJihad and to pledge fealty to Al Qaeda, which serves both its fundraising and recruitmentgoals.”133Al-Shabaab-Pirates nexusSo far, there exists no documented proof of a link between Al-Shabaab and Somalipirates, but this does not rule out such possibilities. According to Cole who is the programme126 p 17127Ibid128 p 17130 p 9132 p 9
  43. 43. Page | 38coordinator at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime- Counter Piracy Programme,interviews with Somali Pirates in custody reveal the existence of this nexus.134His sentimentsare echoed by Hon. Justice Gaswaga who is credited for trials of Piracy cases in the EastCoast of Africa. Justice Gaswaga concurs that piracy related funds are channelled to Al-Shabaab’s programmes.135It is agreeable that United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-Counter Piracy Programme and the Hon. Justice Gaswaga courts have had numerous one onone interaction with the Somali pirates and consequently established a deeper understandingof the group’s dynamics, operations and associations. This therefore gives credibility to thementioned observations.Lt. Col. Ankunda, AMISOM spokesman suggests that: “As Al-Shabaab’s sources ofincome continue to shrink, they have looked to piracy as an alternative source of funds tofinance their activities,”136an observation that Hon. Mulongo, Vice Chairman of the Defenseand Security Committee in the Parliament of Uganda agrees with. According to Hon.Mulongo, the returns from Piracy are equally ploughed back to the Al-Shabaab course, anobservation that is at par with that of Cole and that of Justice Gaswaga. 137Other expertshowever strike a cautious tone, and as E.B-Gaswaga, a legal officer, UN Department of PeaceKeeping Operations notes: “The nexus between these two groups is a possibility….therefore,more leaning towards reality”.138She argues that acts of terrorism require access to unlimitedfunds of which piracy could be a source in that regard.139134Interview with Alan Cole, UNODC-CPP Programme Coordinator, February 2, 2012. *The views presented by Mr. Coleare individual and does not depict the official position of the UN135Interview with Justice Duncan Gaswaga, Head of Criminal Division, Supreme Court of Seychelles, May 10, 2012. * Theviews presented here are of Justice Duncan Gaswaga and does not depict the official position of the Supreme Court ofSeychelles.136Interview with Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, AMISOM spokesman, April 20, 2012.137Interview with Hon. Simon Mulongo, Vice Chairman Defense and Security Committee, Parliament of Uganda, May 11,2012138Interview with Elizabeth Bakibinga-Gaswaga, Legal Officer, UN Dept. of Peace Keeping Operations, Kosovo, February24,2012 * The views presented by Ms E.G-Gaswaga does not depict the official position of the UN139Ibid
  44. 44. Page | 39Even though there is a common understanding among these experts on the possiblerelationship between Al-Shabaab and the Somali Pirates, others discount the notion. AsHarper, a BBC Africa Senior editor and author of ‘Getting Somalia Wrong?’ put it, the nexusis imaginary, noting that:140Al-Shabaab’s precursor, the Islamic Courts Union was the only power base that managedto effectively tackle Piracy , which decreased dramatically during the last six months of 2006when the ICU was in power in South Central Somalia. Pirates and their lifestyle is consideredharam by Islamist groups.Her observations are supported by Hon. Ateenyi, Chairperson of the ParliamentaryCommittee on Defense and security, Parliament of Uganda. According to Hon. Ateenyi, thereis no direct connection between the two groups, arguing that pirates show no interest inhaving any ideological affiliation with the Jihadis.141Further, “while Al-Shabaab seeks to beless xenophobic and accept foreign fighters, so far, the pirates prioritise their clan above anyother alliance.” 142In view of these positions, the author remains cautious of the presumed nexus, but doesnot disregard the possibilities. Even though Somali Piracy comes out as a purely economicoriented enterprise, it is observable that the lawlessness of the state provides room for itssurvival. However, the fact that Al-Shabaab is accountable for the larger part of Somalia’sinsecurity may possibly facilitate a line of engagement that prompts the Pirates toacknowledge the “role” of Al-Shabaab in creating a “business friendly” environment.140Interview with Mary Harper, BBC Africa Editor and Author of Getting Somalia Wrong? March 3, 2012141Interview with Hon. Tinkasiimire Barnabas Ateenyi, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense andSecurity, Parliament of Uganda, May 11, 2012.142Ibid
  45. 45. Page | 40Affiliations: Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsular (AQAP) and Al-Qaeda CentralAccording to the US counter terrorism officials, proximity of Somalia and Yemen is verymuch to blame for the close working relationships between Al-Shabaab and the AQAP.143Reports alluding to the possibility of the AQAP having shared chemical bomb makingtechnology with Al-Shabaab144can only act to reinforce the phobia for a close association ofthe two groups. The dynamics of this complexity is further compounded by the large numbersof disenfranchised Somali refugees in the unstable Yemen. Admittedly, this group could bean easy target for Al-Shabaab, AQAP, or Al-Qaeda central.The debate around Al-Shabaab is inconclusive without establishing its affiliations withAl-Qaeda central. Over the years, Al-Shabaab has been associated with Al-Qaeda for variousreasons. Notably, the group has itself portrayed public display of reverence forthe presumed association on numerous occasions.Speculations for the Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda being a common entity have mostly beenexaggerated, noting that it is the former that has been keen on confirming the existence ofsuch an association. Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda have had a habitual understanding on anumber of issues, nevertheless the allegations of Al-Qaeda aided operations in Somalia, iftrue, can only be to a limited extent.The link between the two groups can, however, be traced back to the era of ICU where itwas alleged that the Al-Shabaab and the ruling ICU harboured Al-Qaeda operatives whowere suspected of taking part in the “black hawk down” operation.145Notably, one of the143Adam Entous and Siobhan Gorman, “U.S. Weighs Expanded Strikes in Yemen,” Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2010.144Greg Miller, “CIA Sees Increased Threat from al-Qaeda in Yemen,” Washington Post, August 24, 2010145
  46. 46. Page | 41suspects was also allegedly involved in the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya andTanzania.146Before his killing in 2009, Al-Shabaab leader Saleh Ali Saleh Al-Nahban was an Al-Qaeda senior operative who masterminded the Mombasa attacks.147It is then clear that theclose association between the two groups has not been farfetched, but as noted earlier, therehas not been any hard evidence indicating an elaborate Al-Qaeda/Al-Shabaab’s association tothe effect that they can be referred to as a single entity or involvement in Somalia since theestablishment of Al-Shabaab in 2006. Nevertheless, Al-Shabaab has repeatedly pledgedallegiance to Al-Qaeda, which it recognises as the ‘pinnacle of global jihad.’ The recentproclamation that Al-Shabaab finally joined the Al-Qaeda was therefore not asurprise. According to the SITE translation, Al-Zawahiri, while accepting Al-Shabaab intothe fold said:148Today, I have pleasing glad tidings for the Muslim Ummah that will please the believersand disturb the disbelievers, which is the joining of the Shabaab al Mujahideen Movement inSomalia to Qaedat al Jihad, to support the jihadi unity against the Zio[nist]-Crusadercampaign and their assistants amongst the treacherous agent rulers who let the invadingCrusader forces enter their countries.With this proclamation, Al-Shabaab officially joined the Al-Qaeda. However, whatremains unsubstantiated is why this moment was significant for the two groups to finallyhave a formal union. Lt Col. Ankunda opines that the decision to merge at this point was acritical mistake, arguing that the Somali people who are not known to have embraced aculture of radicalism would not find the merger appealing, but was quick to add that “Al-146Ibid147Ibid148
  47. 47. Page | 42Shabaab had to join hands with Al-Qaeda for three reasons: Get a new lease of life as it wasbeing weakened militarily, enhance its sources of funding and gain some visibility.”149Harper looks at the Al-Shabaab/Al-Qaeda merger differently arguing that ‘this is notsomething new’ as the two groups have had a history of encouraging each other. She opinesthat the recent ‘merger’ statements are a sign of weakness of both the groups.1502.3 CONCLUSIONDespite the existence of a common language and a shared religious belief, which, indeedare fundamental ‘unifying elements’ in an African context, Somalia continues to remainvolatile as the citizens pledge allegiance to ‘a more overarching element’, the Clan.The proliferation of arms (thanks to Cold War machinations), citizenrydisenfranchisement, as well as insurmountable clan differences created enough incentive forthe Somalia civil war break out. The fall of the repressive Siad Barre’s regime was, thereforethe tipping point of the State collapse.The deteriorating security situation, dilapidated social amenities and infrastructure,coupled with intense inter-clan wars created an environment ripe for extremism and terrorist-related activities. The advent of radical groups like AIAI, ICU and the Al-Shabaabaggravated the conflict by infusing sacralisation as an additional component to the alreadyexisting complex. This new aspect to the conflict did not just entrench hard core extremism inSomalia, but also created a forum for its export in the neighbouring countries.149Interview with Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, AMISOM spokesman, April 20, 2012.150Interview with Mary Harper, BBC Africa Editor and Author of Getting Somalia Wrong? March 3, 2012
  48. 48. Page | 43Al-Shabaab, the latest prototype of Somalia extremism has not only destabilised the TFG,but equally extended its influence to the EAC particularly Kenya. Key to the outfit’s successis its vision which is founded on religious indoctrination, ability to recruit in Somalia andbeyond, a well-coordinated organisational structure, established stream of funding, strategicmechanisms for ‘winning hearts and minds’ of the population, propaganda machinery, a non-conventional warfare tactic, as well as its affiliations with the AQAP and Al-Qaeda central.An assembly of these features not only make Al-Shabaab a threat to TFG and Somaliacitizens, but a regional, if not a global challenge. So far, there is overwhelming evidencelinking the Al-Shabaab or its Al-Qaeda ally to bombings in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.Burundi (fourth EAC member) has equally been threatened by the Al-Shabaab on numerousoccasions. From a community of five States, it is just Rwanda (sandwiched between Ugandaand Burundi) which has not been ‘earmarked’ by the Al-Shabaab or its allies.As the threat of Al-Shabaab orchestrated extremism escalates in the region, so are themilitary interventions. Distinctively, Ethiopia has been on the forefront in Somalia missions,but its exit in 2007 was followed by the entry of AMISOM. In the wake of a wave of attacksand kidnappings in Kenya, the government responded swiftly through a military incursionwhich was ostensibly to protect Kenya’s integrity and sovereignty.
  49. 49. Page | 44CHAPTER THREE3.0 AL-SHABAAB RELATED MILITARY INTERVENTIONS3.1 OPERATION LINDA NCHI (OLN)OLN: What informed the incursion?Kenya’s incursion into Somalia, dubbed the operation ‘Linda Nchi’ a Swahili statementfor ‘Protect the Nation’ was informed by the increased government’s perception that the Al-Shabaab extremism had encroached into the country to an extent that the sovereignty ofKenya was under disrepute. While addressing the executive session of the Commonwealthheads of states and Governments in Perth Australia (2011), President Kibaki of Kenya stated:“The mission in Somalia is based on a legitimate right to protect Kenya’s sovereignty andintegrity;"151a statement that was echoed by his minister for internal security who observedthat “Kenya had no intentions of annexing Somalia.”152Based on these accounts, thedecision, notably Kenya’s largest military operation since independence (1963) was arguablytriggered by three key events:i. The October 2011 kidnappings of two Spanish Aid workers from the Daadab refugeecamp;153ii. The shooting of a British holiday maker and subsequently abducting his wife (Mrs.Judith Telbutt) from a Kenyan beach resort;154151“Kenya Defence Forces capture key town”, NTVKenya, October 28, 2011, (accessed on March 15, 2012)152Ibid153“Spanish aid workers abducted from Kenyan refugee camp”,AljazeeraEnglish, October 13, 2011,! (accessed on February 2, 2012)154“Murdered Brits Wife Taken Hostage In Kenya”, Sky News, September 12, 2011,
  50. 50. Page | 45iii. The kidnapping of an elderly French woman from a Kenyan resort of Lamu (near thelocation from which Judith Telbutt was abducted).155For a country that is heavily dependent on tourism as a foreign exchange earner, thekidnappings, especially at the beach resorts presented Kenya on the international arena as adangerous destination, a rationale that the government exploited to justify its militaryoperation in Somalia. Arguably, these three incidents cannot entirely be the main causationfor the intervention.Being a frontline state with Somalia, Kenya has borne the brunt of spill overs of violenceand extremism emanating from Somalia’s State failure and collapse. A historical examplewould be the August 7, 1998 bomb attack of the US embassies in both Nairobi and Dar esSalaam, which was responsible for the demise of 225 lives and a further 4,000 woundedones.156,157It has since been alleged that the attacks were masterminded by the Al-Qaeda EastAfrica cells, with Somalia being instrumental in their planning and execution.158Yet,Somalia has not only become a security threat to Kenya or Tanzania, as the 7/11Kampala bomb attack was planned and executed by a new Somalia extremism outfit, the Al-Shabaab.OLN can therefore be envisioned as a military incursion that was neither random norinformed by a single incidence observable as having breached the security of Kenya as asovereign state, but rather it was triggered by a series of past extremist events which had (accessed on February 2,2012)155“French woman kidnapped from north Kenyan coast”, The Telegraph, October 1, 2011, (accessed on February 2, 2012)156ICG, “The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia”, International Crisis Group African Report No 184, p 1, February15, 2012157“Attacks on US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania” Global Security, (accessed on April 5, 2012)158ICG, “The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia”, International Crisis Group African Report No 184, p 1, February15, 2012
  51. 51. Page | 46constituted a dangerous pattern. Still, some observers argue that Kenya’s initial agenda wasnot to pursue the Al-Shabaab into Somalia, citing that the whole idea was to create a bufferzone by leading a covert operation and subsequently installing a Kenyan controlled proxygovernment in Jubaland.159Aims and progress of the Operation Linda NchiWhereas the above accounts are presented as the legal and sometimes moral reasons forthe incursion, the main goal for the operation has remained vague given the recurrent shift inpositions by the military handlers. According to the Crisis Group:160First came “hot pursuit” of kidnappers identified as Al-Shabaab. At the 21 October 2011IGAD meeting, the stated goal shifted to destroying or weakening Al-Shabaab andestablishing a buffer zone between Kenya and Somalia. Ten days later, the chief of thedefence forces, General Julius Karangi, declared the operation had no time limit and wouldcontinue until Kenya was safe. Over time, it has come to appear that another aim is to capturethe port city of Kismayo. Al-Shabaab earns substantial revenue there, the loss of which, it isargued, would break its economic back.Even as the KDF set its eyes on Port Kismayu, another twist emerged with the ministerfor Defence insisting that the Kenyan forces would not capture the port city without thefinancial and logistical backing of the international community.161This instability indetermining the operation’s main goal was likely to increase public scrutiny both in Kenyaand Somalia as the war against Al-Shabaab’s continued. However, the fears seem to havebeen calmed by Augistine Mahiga, Head of the UN Political Office for Somalia who159Robert Young Pelton,“Kenya Modified Invasions to Suit US concerns”, Somalia report, November 14, 2011, (accessed January 3, 2012)160ICG, “The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia”, International Crisis Group African Report No 184, p 5, February15, 2012161Fred Oluoch and Mwaura Kimani,“Haji says no to Kismayu attack without back-up”, The East African, January 15,2012,
  52. 52. Page | 47reiterated that KDF’s primary mission was to capture Kismayu from Al-Shabaab and thencontinue north to the port city of Marka.162Strategy and AchievementsWhereas KDF’s main goal in this war had been subjected to a series of discussions, theapproach of the incursion pointed to the capture of port Kismayu as the priority. The KDFlaunched its assault from three fronts, namely: The Northern, Central, and Southern fronts.162Yara Bayoumy, “INTERVIEW: AU, Kenya Forces Move to Squeeze Rebels Out of Somalia,” Reuters, January 30, 2012, (accessed March 24, 2012)
  53. 53. Page | 48163163“Kenya’s Operation Linda Nchi Week One (16-22 October, 2011) ”, Critical Threats, (accessed on January 5, 2012)
  54. 54. Page | 49Even though it appeared obvious that all the three axes of the Kenyan battalion wereheaded for Kismayu, Prof. David Anderson argues that KDF tactical objective was not tomarch straight to Kismayu, but rather circle the port city by first capturing Afmadow, whichlies on River Juba, thereby sealing off any crossing by Al-Shabaab.164He posits that thiswould be followed by the capture of Jibil on River Shibeli, before matching to Mogadishu.Port of Kismayu, as already discussed in this thesis is one of the key sources of the Al-Shabaab financial lifeline, it, therefore, makes more sense sealing off the region from the restof the Al-Shabaab held regions as this would cause serious shortages to the groups supplies.As evidenced by the Crisis Group report, the government volunteered very little about“which and how many forces” were involved in Somalia. Nevertheless, Statfor’s Africananalyst, Mark Schoreder revealed that prior to January 2012; Kenya deployed 4,000 of itsmilitary personnel in Somalia.165This figure sharply differs with the ICG estimates whichwere at 2,000 troops,166but the discrepancy highlights how tight-lipped the government hasremained about many aspects revolving around the operation.The KDF worked closely with the TFG forces (remnants of the 2,500), and 500 strongOgaden forces it trained at the beginning of the Jubaland project in 2009 and the proxies such164Al Shabaab and Kenyas Somali invasion” hjemmesidefilm, January 30, 2012,! (accessed on February 2, 2012)165“Dispatch: Kenyas Military Engagement Against Al Shabaab”, STRATFORvideo, October 31, 2011, (accessed on February 2, 2012)166ICG, “The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia”, International Crisis Group African Report No 184, p 5, February15, 2012