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Updated 2 hrs 59 mins ago
By Peter Nguli
The entry of Kenya Defence Forces into Somalia in October 2011 shocked the world; it was a case of a peaceful country up in arms after tolerating decades of suppression due to its tolerant self. This perception was wrong; Kenya is a peaceful country.
Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October last year, accusing the Al-Qaeda-linked group Al Shabaab of abducting foreigners from its soil – charges denied by the militants. Faced by a series of abductions, Kenya had no alternative but to make a bold step to secure its borders and safeguard her sovereignty. Kenya’s geopolitics and her strategic importance underscore the need for multi-pronged efforts to stymie regional conflicts and internal security threats.
Ever since Kenya made the incursion, her military has routed the militants, one town after another using the most unique strategy ever used to counter an army run by terrorists. The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) have killed hundreds and hundreds of Al-Shabaab troops, captured strategic towns formerly held by the militants, trained and positioned Somali government forces in liberated areas. Al-Shabaab has been weakened, on the run, and confused. It lacks the basic requirements such as leadership and money to make inroads in its quest to remain in power. South Somalia recently was Al-Shabaabs stronghold and economic nerve centre, not any more.
Today, KDF has captured economic, infrastructural, and technical capability centres of Al-Shabaab besides destroying the militants training and bomb assembly facilities. African armies have not defended let alone won a war, but KDF has made the most significant difference in Kenyan, African, and global history and did what none of any other armies have ever done: defeating, eliminating and completely wiping out an Al-Qaeda backed Islamist army to liberate the Somali people, of course in areas where it has liberated. No foreign army has managed a foothold in Somalia but Kenya Defense Forces have.
David James, an expert in military intelligence, reckons that KDF is using a unique strategy to fight and win. “They eliminate the enemy, scout, and police the liberated area besides bringing in local administration to assert. The purpose of this strategy is to pre-empt insurgency and guerrilla rebirth. Interestingly, Kenya defense forces help demine the liberated areas, de-militarize, arrest elements of enemy, and most importantly, seal the liberated area besides ensuring arms are confiscated.” he says. This ensures Al-Shabaab does not regroup and regain ground. The strategy paves way for lasting peace and social integration. Military intelligence shows Kenya Defense Forces are using logistics as a weapon to win the war and sure, they are. Al-Shabaab have ran away from the south and now are regrouping elsewhere.
Al-Shabaab cannot respond due to lack of troops, reinforcements, ammunition, and morale. Simply Kenya Defense Forces have reduced Al-Shabaab to a running militia. They have liberated Somalia while the international community sat on the fence watching and hoping they would fail. There are no training grounds, facilities, and resources left for Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Boats full of fleeing fighters are leaving Kismayo after KDF started infiltrating and destroying air defenses, arms depots, and cutting off Kismayo from any help from the inland.
When Kenya defense forces stormed South Somalia in October, they straddled Al-Shabaab held towns from Al-Shabaab system. Afmadow was isolated, quarantined, and denied of essential resources including money, arms, ammunition, food, and medicine. A naval patrol by KDF navy reduced piracy, training of new recruits, and distribution of resources to militants. Al-Shabaab started to lose clout and its military potential. Several top Al-Shabaab leaders, trainers, and bomb experts were killed in special operations by Kenya Defense Forces during their incursion since October 2011.
Kenya army has struck Kismayo many times from the air dismantling air defense mounted on buildings besides arms depots. Hundreds of Al-Shabaab soldiers have been killed and hundreds badly wounded in KDF led attacks on their strongholds, training facilities, and logistical positions often referred to by the international community and media as villages. Somali villagers in the South attested to CNN that since Kenya Defense Forces came in, there has been peace, freedom, and health. Administrative centres are being set up and TFG forces maintain law and order. Kenya read the riot act to the international community by showing with actions that peace and stability could be achieved in Somalia.
The strategy deployed by KDF continued to destroy enemy resource mobilization, enemy troop movement, assembly and distribution of enemy weaponry including guns, bullets, and bombs, defiling the capacity of the enemy even in others areas it controlled. This trickledown effect is felt across Somalia where other foreign armies are operating including UPDF, the major player and pioneer of the military intervention in Somalia. KDF liberated Afmadow, a strategic town that has helped starve Kismayu from continued supply of vital resources. Recently, KDF liberated Miido, another vital strategic town. Reports indicate that the battle for Kismayu is on the verge and sooner it will be under KDF control. KDF continues to inflict a painful blow to the Al Shabaab terrorist organisation.
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