How Kenya brought the Al-Shabaab cancer home

Al-Shabaab fighters gather in Elasha Biyaha, in the Afgoei Corridor, after a demonstration to support the merger of Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda network on February 13, 2012. AFP FILE PHOTO

What you need to know:

  • In a cable dated October 2, 2010, Djibouti’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mahmoud Ali Yousouf also told US Ambassador William Bellamy that the recruitment could only have a negative impact on Kenya’s security.
  • The withdrawal of the Ethiopians in 2009 had greatly strengthened the Shabaab, which strongly expanded its field of operations to the region near the Kenyan border.
  • At first, the Kenyan government told the US officials that it aimed to train a group of 36 Somali nationals who would then be returned to Somalia to train a bigger, more professional force with the guidance of retired Kenyan military officers.

Details of how Kenya inserted itself into the messy theatre of Somalia through the training of young ethnic Kenyan Somalis against the advice of allies such as the US are revealed in great detail in leaked American embassy cables reviewed by the Sunday Nation.

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