Kenya has been accused of a “wait and see” foreign policy. But the incursion into Somalia is a perfect policy shift, a clear indication that Kenya believes time to view and act differently has come. Now Kenya has demonstrated that being the largest economy in the region it must show leadership.
In keeping with its new approach to diplomacy, Kenya successfully convinced the United Nations to change previous resolutions that barred neighbors from providing troops for peace keeping in Somalia.
This resulted in countries like Djibouti contributing troops to Somalia and the Kenyan Cabinet approving the offer of troops to the AMISOM mission in Somalia.
Similarly, when Kenya obtained proof that Eritrea supplied three planeloads of weapons to Al-Shabaab in Baidoa and Kismayu, it took the lead, with IGAD, to demand that UN Security Council impose sanctions against Eritrea. And when Kenya had had enough of Al-Shabaab provocations through kidnappings of tourists, aid workers and violation of Kenya’s territorial integrity – it launched a robust diplomatic campaign and military offensive.
The Kenyan Defence Forces and the Somali Transitional Federal Government troops worked jointly in the hunt for Al Shabaab under the following agreement;
- That Kenya’s security operation inside Somalia is aimed at eliminating the threat posed by Al Shabaab to Kenya’s national security and economic well being, and is based on the legitimate right to self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter;
- That Al Shabaab constitutes a threat to both Somalia and Kenya and is therefore a common enemy for the entire region and the world. This threat must be fought jointly by the two nations with support from the international community;
- That the current operations are led by the TFG of Somalia Forces with the support of the Kenyan defence Forces in pursuit of legitimate Al Shabaab targets;
- That the Somali Government supports the activities of the Kenyan forces, which are being fully coordinated with the TFG of Somalia and being carried out in the spirit of good neighborliness and African unity.
- That there will be continuous sharing of intelligence and information on Al Shabaab activities and the military operation to ﬂush them out. In this regard, a joint high-level coordination committee is established which will maintain regular ongoing contact including periodic meetings in Nairobi and Mogadishu.
- That additional AMISOM troops be provided to move into the liberated areas in southern Somalia to help safeguard peace and security and assist the establishment of local administration with the guidance of the TFG.
- That the international community assists in providing immediate humanitarian assistance in the liberated areas and provide needed funding for other urgently needed services such as in health and education.
- That the TFG will seek ICC assistance in starting immediate investigations into crimes against humanity committed by individuals within the Al Shabaab movement with the aim of seeking their indictment.
- That the international community provides the necessary logistical and financial support for the blockade of the port off Kismayu until Al Shabaab is defeated and removed;
- That the Kenya Government shall not negotiate with Al Shabaab but the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia is free to negotiate with all armed opposition groups within the instruments guiding this road map (i.e. The Djibouti Peace Process and the Kampala Accord as recommended by IGAD and the African Union) provided they renounce violence.