Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Quixotic Invasion of Somalia Will Devastate Kenya

A Digital Essay by Onyango Oloo in Nairobi

Let me start with a WARNING:

The link below contains very graphic, gory and disturbing images:

Those forlorn, bloated young corpses roasting in the scorching Somali sun could very well be the remains of recently expired Kenyan combat troops.

There has been a lot of fervent flag waving, agitated anthem intoning and cheesy chest thumping over the last few days all across the country.

Nairobi-based television anchors have exchanged their ill-fitting suits for equally bizarre military fatigues in a pathetic attempt to reprise the recurring martial misadventures of the CNN and BBC superstars like Christiane Anampour, Nic Robertson et al.

The hyped up Kenyan jingoism and misplaced machismo and boisterous braggadocio has left an overwhelming feeling ravaging through my body:

A sense of nausea and profound disgust.

Excuse me while I throw up.

As our preening neo-colonial chieftains, who get their talking points from Washington, London ,Brussels and other capitals of capital, try to out Bush Bush and out Blair Blair in banging the drums of war and clanging the cymbals of foreign intervention , the hapless wananchi are reduced to an abject bleating national choir of meek sheep endorsing every propaganda sound byte of the cynical war mongers in cabinet and the self-serving parliament.

First things first.

This war is UNNECESSARY.


It is FAKE.



What ostensibly “provoked” the impulsive invasion of Somalia by armed to the teeth Kenyan military troops was a CRIMINAL act involving the kidnapping of a couple of foreigners by bandits who could even turn out to be KENYANS, the assumption that they are definitely Somali born, bred and based Al Shabaab militants notwithstanding.

The response which could have been apt was a POLICE response; not an uncalled for massive military operation for crying out loud! The details of this suggested police intervention need not have precluded covert coordination with our security organs-Kenyan and non-Kenyan.

Why is this war ILLEGAL?

The supreme law in Kenya is the CONSTITUTION.

What does the Kenyan constitution say?

State of emergency

58. (1) A state of emergency may be declared only under Article 132 (4) (d) and only when—
(a) the State is threatened by war, invasion, general insurrection, disorder, natural disaster or other public emergency;

Role of the National Assembly

95. (6) The National Assembly approves declarations of war and extensions of states of emergency

Term of Parliament

102. (2) When Kenya is at war, Parliament may, by resolution supported in each House by at least two-thirds of all the members of the House, from time to time extend the term of Parliament by not more than six months at a time.

Functions of the President

132. (4) The President may –
(d) subject to Article 58, declare a state of emergency
(e) with the approval of Parliament, declare war.
Everyone knows what happened. The minister for internal security flanked by his ministry of defence counterpart informed Kenyans through a press conference that Kenya was at war, in total violation of the constitutional provisions.

Why is it FAKE?

Because Kenyans have been lied to.

Contrary to the impression that this is an angry national reaction to a recent provocation, the fact of the matter is that this military operation has been in the planning pipeline for quite some time.

According to impeccable sources who are quite familiar with the inside workings of Kenya’s military, intelligence and security machinations, what is happening in Somalia is part of a detailed and coordinated IGAD joint intervention in Somalia with specific roles for Ethiopia, the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, the African Union troops and the Kenyan military.

A story published in the October 28, 2011 issue of the Africa Report cites the Kenyan political leadership at the highest echelons admitting that an earlier plan to go after Al-Shabaab covertly from Kenya using specially trained elite forces recruited from the Kenyan ethnic Somali population floundered after most of these recruits DESERTED after their training.

Far from this incursion into Somalia being propelled by a patriotic Kenyan desire to defend the country it turns out that we are just pawns in the larger US/NATO geo-political agenda to “stabilize” the Horn of Africa region in line with the wider imperialist agenda of consolidating world monopoly capital which has of late been buffeted by a severe crisis in the United States itself, the meltdown of the Euro in Europe and growing protests by the burgeoning global Occupy Wall Street inspired citizen mass actions. There is a connection between the Kenyan military foray into Oddo, Kismayu and other towns and the NATO led bombing of Libya and the ultimate brutal slaughter of Colonel Muamar Ghadaffi and his loyalists in Sirte.

Closer home, the military misadventure in Somalia may provide the excuse for some of these Kenyan political criminals in power to go for a horrendous cash grab to bolster the 2012 war chest for their various presidential bids.

Think about it:

What is the LEAST TRANSPARENT aspect of the Kenyan budgetary process?

Allocating funds to the military and national intelligence and security services.

Using the guise and pretext of safeguarding some undefined “national security interests”, the mandarins in the Treasury, the well-connected technocrats and securocrats at DOD, the back room boys at State House, the appartchiks at the various party headquarters and the merchants of impunity in parliament and the errand boys in the civil service could very well conspire to STEAL BILLIONS OF KENYAN TAX PAYERS’ SHILLINGS with the excuse that these funds are paying for the operations in Somalia.

On a related note, a close friend of mine told me the other day that some of the ICC connected players in PNU and ODM are blackmailing Prime Minister Raila Odinga into being part of this Somalia circus because they hope to DELAY or EVEN POSTPONE next year’s Presidential and General Elections hoping to buy time in case any of the Ocampo Six are confirmed for trial at the ICC.

By declaring a CONVENTIONAL military offensive against a loose militia with a penchant for GUERRILLA tactics, it is apparent that the Kenyan government has NOT learned anything from the last fifty years of contemporary conflicts- from Vietnam, through Northern Ireland, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Eritrea, Uganda, Iraq to Colombia.

The Kenyan regime could prove very gullible ideologically to the machinations of Al Shabaab. Remember, Kenyans in the north and among sections of the country's Muslim population may be vulnerable and even receptive to overtures from pro-Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab elements who may portray the conflict with the Kenyan state in RELIGIOUS terms as a Jihad against pro-Western infidels headquartered in Nairobi. There have been credible reports of KENYANS being recruited or acting as recruiters for both Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda.

Tactically it might not be very wise to unleash all this machismo and braggadocio with reckless talk of "bring it on". Remember the kind of people who join outfits like Al Shabaab see themselves as martyrs to higher spiritual causes who are quite ready and more than willing to strap themselves with explosives and blow themselves up as suicide bombers so it will take more than threats of tanks and fighter jets to cow them into abject submission.

Below is an excerpt from a Somaliland blog carrying an opinion piece by Dr, Dirrir Ali which might prove interesting reading for Kenyans

Long before Restore Hope, the joint UN and USA humanitarian campaign in Somalia in early 1990s, a consultant to the UNO on Somalia, advised the USA administration to attempt everything else but not war with Somalis, in his opinion; war is the thing Somalis know best. The USA did not heed to that precious advice and we all remember the way that campaign went wrong – it ended with the famous Black hawk down and that was the last USA chapter of waging war in Somalia – at least an open and all out ground war. That UNO consultant is called Mr. John Drysdale. He knew the closing stages of the campaign even before it was waged. He was not a fortune teller; Mr. Drysdale was some one who had first hand experience of what Somalis are capable to accomplishing in the war field. He was the British administrator of Somaliland more than four decades prior to the debut of that campaign.

The Ethiopians were not dissuaded by the USA experience in Somalia. They did not either learn much from their centuries-old wars with Somalis and with the help of the USA air power, they too attacked and captured Mogadishu, but their victory did not last for too long and they were also compelled to a humiliating withdrawal after Somalis taught them a lesson in urban and guerrilla warfare.

Now it appears that the Kenyans did not learn much about the history of Somali warfare. In my opinion they too have made very bad miscalculations and do not understand that all Somalis are not the murderous Al-shabaab group and the Transitional Federal government. The Somali population is not the weak and famine-devastated thousands that live in refugee camps in the Northern Frontier district (NFD), which it self is a Somali region given to Kenya in the early sixties, after Kenya gained its independence from Britain. NFD is one of the five Somali territories represented in the star on the Somalia flag. Besides NFD, the other four Somali territories are Somalia, The Republic of Djibouti, The self administered Somali region in Ethiopia and the Republic of Somaliland.

The Kenyans fancy to believe that they could win a war and defeat Somalis, it is passable for them to accept as true what they believe, but the truth of the matter is they are playing with inextinguishable fire – a greater Somali fire. By starting a war in this region can easily instigating Somalis to reclaim their Northern Frontier District (NFD). Therefore, I brotherly advise the Kenyans to withdraw immediately before Somalis beat the drums of war, believe me that will not be a good sign for the Kenyans. To give you an example of what that could mean; the recent Kenyan civil unrest will feel just like a picnic in warm summer day on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Since its independence from Italy, Somalia is wounded by civil war, famine, terrorism and corrupt incompetent consecutive regimes, but Somalis are far from death and are strong enough to inflict an ever lasting damage to an aggressor. They are also blessed with Muslim and Arab brethren, who will not hesitate to assist them to rebel all enemies from all Somali territories.
Kenyans have no business crossing the borders to Somalia; it is illegal under International law and it is morally wrong. If they have beef with Al-Shabaab then they must fight them in their own territory and not inside Somalia. Kenyans must not arrogantly over estimate their economic and military power and must keep in mind, that only Somalis are capable of defeating Somalis and no body else. They must bear in mind that their country is very easily susceptible to be fractured through ethnic and tribal lines. By starting a war with Somalis Kenyan economy and tourist industry can be devastated within hours. It must realize that it can not win the wars lost by super powers. Kenya must not be fooled by the guys who call themselves the TFG of Somalia; these guys lack morality, education, experience and live their lives under the protection of the Ugandan forces tanks in their home – Mogadishu. They can be bought and sold in a junk yard. If the Kenyans trust the strategic analysis of these TFG guys then they are deficient in judgement.

Somalis know too well the illegal Somalia territorial water’s concession made to Kenya by the illegal and morally corrupt TFG. Somalis are aware of the Azania project that is established by Kenyans through a mercenary force headed by Mr. Gandi, a power Hungary opportunist. Somalis quite appreciate Kenya’s geopolitical ambitions, both short and long term strategies. By looking at realities on the ground, these Kenyan dreams are far from becoming true. Kenyans politicians must clear their heads of the myths and wrong assumptions. They are not able to conquer more territories from Somalis, but instead the Northern Frontier District might go back to hands of Somalis.

In recent years Kenya was enrich with not only the looting of the Somalia’s International assistance through the NGOs operated mafia that consider the humanitarian assistance, war and drought confounded Somalis as their personal spoils of war. Not only that, but Kenya is also benefiting from Somalis who bring with them capital, technical and business expertise to that corruption riddle East African country. Somalis have both directly & indirectly created jobs for millions of Kenyans. Thus, Kenya benefited from Somalia more than any country in the world. For those simple reasons, Kenyans should be grateful to the Somalis and must not try to slaughter the goose that laid the golden eggs. Kenyans and for that matter any other neighbouring country must think twice before they venture to play with Somali fire; it will never die very easily. Somalis might consider moving their businesses and investments from Kenya to neighbouring Republic of Somaliland and The Republic of Djibouti. Both Somaliland and Djibouti are eager to receive their Somali brethren and their investments with open hearts. The United Nations and the donor countries might also consider moving their offices to the more peaceful and politically stable Somaliland, since Kenya is not able to provide security to the foreign diplomats, expatriates and tourists in its country.

Yusuf Dirir Ali

On the broader geo-political front, the announcement of Saitoti, Haji and the war mongers in the Kenyan cabinet could be a stratagem signalled at the fascist US and NATO military-industrial complex that the PNU side of the Grand Coalition government is gung ho about the much discredited "War on Terror" with a view of gaining traction with the so called "international community" (a convenient nick name for the Western powers) as a defender of "security" and "stability" of the East African and Horn of Africa restive region.

But this could backfire if the zealots in Al Shabaab appeal to their extremist allies in Pakistan, Afghanistan and nearby Yemen that they are under threat from a hostile client regime in Nairobi- triggering a devastating wave of urban terrorist reprisals targeting civilian populations in places like Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nairobi and the like-not ignoring business, infrastructure and military targets.

They are those who will react with shock at my views expressed in this digital essay.

Some will find me "unpatriotic".

Some will scream that I be prosecuted for TREASON.

Well, I am in good company.

The Chief Justice of Kenya was once detained without trial allegedly because he was deemed "unpatriotic" by our retired dictator.

The Prime Minister of Kenya was almost hanged after being accused of TREASON.

I was among dozens of peaceful pro-democracy social justice activists who spent long years behind bars on SEDITION charges because we dared to speak TRUTH to POWER.

We counterpose our genuine LOVE for our Motherland Kenya to the fake nationalism of the war mongers.

Our commitment to the freedom, liberation and emancipation of all Kenyans from neo-colonialism and imperialism preceded and will outlast these synthetic screeches covering up the local elite's attempt to be the slaves of Uncle Sam and her NATO cousins in this part of Africa and the world.

We will continue fighting for peace, democracy, equality, social justice and Pan African liberation in the spirit of Internationalist Solidarity and Third World Liberation.

A Lutta Continua!

Onyango Oloo


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If Kenyans are more intelligent nation, don't be like Wayans(Ethiopians), it is easy to enter Somalia, but it is hard to come back with Gold. Kenyans must know that Nations who have more powerful than they are, failed in Somalia, Kenya will not get peace,oil or gold in Somalia rather than the pain of the bullet that we experienced a long time.
on the other hand Somalia will come back what is was, be united as our flag represents.
Kenya Stay away from Somali, casuse Somalia is not eating Uggali.

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