Kenya’s Move on Al Shabaab Long Overdue

The decision by the Kenyan government to launch military attacks against the dreaded Al Shabaab militia is commendable, though long overdue. For many years, Kenya’s border towns have been infiltrated by various bandits from Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan, resulting into several casualties. While the government’s belated move is commendable, it is ironical that it had to be pushed into military action following the abduction of tourists.

The question that remains on the lips of most Kenyans is why the government never moved with the same speed in the previous instances where citizens have lost their lives and livestock, not to mention the humiliation that Kenyan fishermen on Migingo Island continue to endure at the hands of Ugandan security forces.

But even as the Kenyan troops continue to pound Al Shabaab strongholds in Somalia, the jury is still out as to whether the operation will be a success. For starters, the US, a military superpower, failed miserably in its intervention in Somalia in the early 1990s, when the American soldiers were humiliated by the Somali militia in what later became known as Operation Black Hawk Down. For the Kenyan troops who have never been to war for decades, with a few soldiers only serving in peace keeping missions, the odds could be so much against them.

However, that is not to say that we should sit pretty as our sovereignty gets trampled upon. Our troops must justify their perks and attractive fringe benefits that they have been enjoying over the years without having to fire a single bullet. As they continue with the onslaught on Al Shabaab, Kenyans will be looking forward to the same exemplary performance that our soldiers have displayed in several peace keeping missions abroad.

Lest we forget, security also needs to be tightened around key installations that Al Shabaab’s leaders have threatened to attack. The 2010 attacks in Uganda are still fresh in our minds and these threats should not be taken lightly.

Posted by on Jan 18 2012. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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