News / Africa

    Kenya Asks Arab World for Support in Somalia

    A Kenyan soldier guards an airstrip in an area near the Somali-Kenyan border where al-Shabab militants are active (file photo).
    A Kenyan soldier guards an airstrip in an area near the Somali-Kenyan border where al-Shabab militants are active (file photo).
    Gabe Joselow

    Kenya is calling for more support from the Arab world to help secure Somalia as Kenyan troops continue their pursuit of al-Shabab militants in the country.  And the Kenyan military says it has shifted its tactics in the fight to help make way for humanitarian assistance.

    Kenyan Foreign Ministry Assistant Director Lindsay Kiptiness told reporters in Nairobi Saturday that Kenya is turning to its Muslim partners for help in Somalia.

    “As we speak now, the minister is somewhere in the Middle East to seek support from the Islamic world, which we consider to be very important," Kiptiness said. "We are working on strategies to ensure that we have the support of the Arab League as well as other Muslim nations that have given support to the TFG before, like Turkey and Iran.”

    The Kenyan military says it is working with forces from Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, or TFG, to eliminate the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab in areas near the Kenyan border.

    Kenya launched the military operation on its own in mid-October in what it deemed an act of self-defense, following several cross-border attacks blamed on Somali militants.

    Seeking outside help

    But, it has in recent weeks been seeking more support from the international community.

    Kiptiness also said Kenya would be going to the United Nations to seek an expansion of the mandate of the African Union peacekeeping mission, known as AMISOM.

    “We are also seeking support from the United Nations Security Council on the possibility of enhancing the operations of AMISOM to cover the entire Somalia, not only Mogadishu.”

    Kenyan officials have previously said they would ask AMISOM and TFG forces to help maintain the peace in southern Somalia when Kenyan troops eventually withdrawal.

    Shift in tactics

    The Kenyan military says it has shifted tactics in the fight against al-Shabab.  After weeks of aerial bombardments, the military says al-Shabab has now splintered into smaller factions, and so Kenyan forces have also started working on a smaller scale.

    Colonel Cyrus Oguna, an information officer in the Kenyan Armed Forces, says the mission also now includes a humanitarian element.

    “They're basically dealing with two major issues here: one is pacification, moving from door-to-door trying to clear al-Shabab remnants that might have sneaked behind or even mingled with the local people and that is really tedious and time-consuming. Plus, of course, trying to help the provision of security for NGOs to provide humanitarian assistance.  There are various NGOs that are on the Kenyan side that could not be allowed to go in when al-Shabab was in control.”

    Colonel Oguna said the new strategy explains the recent lull in military operations.

    In the latest incident, Oguna said TFG forces engaged al-Shabab militants suspected of killing four Somali civilians in an ambush on a car transporting khat - a leafy, marijuana-type plant that is chewed like tobacco. Oguna said four al-Shabab fighters were killed and two TFG soldiers wounded in the fighting.

    The Kenyan military says hundreds of al-Shabab fighters have been killed or wounded since the military incursion began, while five Kenyan soldiers have died.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, here's what the history of take-out food tells us about changes in American society

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora