Kenyan troops have also helped liberate towns and cities in southern Somalia, pushing out al-Shabaab from the city of Kismayo
The hostility faced by Kenya in Gedo is linked to Jubaland’s local political dynamics and competition for resources.
Blowback in the homeland
Al-Shabaab has adapted accordingly, and since 2015, has concentrated its attacks on the border areas of the northeastern counties and in Lamu County. After a decade of military presence in southern Somalia, this the right time to assess whether the initial goals of the intervention have been achieved and whether Kenya needs to change its policy towards Somalia. It being an election year in Kenya, these discussions could come up but, so far, the subject of insecurity and Kenya’s military presence inside Somalia has not turned into a campaign issue. The two frontrunners in the presidential race, Raila Odinga and William Ruto, have not publicly commented on the subject and on the future of Kenyan troops inside Somalia. But as we get closer to the August election date, the issue could become an important campaign topic, especially if al-Shabaab undertakes a major attack targeting Nairobi or Mombasa. However, continued attacks at the periphery—in the northeastern counties and in Lamu County—are unlikely to generate debate at the national level.
First appeared on The Elphant