November 18, 2011 |
In the month since Kenya invaded southern Somalia, one government official has urged negotiations with Al Qaeda-linked militants the army is attacking there. Another ruled out talks. A spokesman said the incursion was months in the planning. The army commander said the decision took just days. There is greater accord among officials that the country's first foreign war in its nearly 50-year history is likely to be a long slog, and among critics that Operation Linda Nchi, or Protect the Nation, is a risky venture of more value to the U.S. than to Kenya.
November 17, 2011 |
Kenya's government has made an urgent appeal to the Obama administration for the Pentagon to provide intelligence and logistical support to Kenya's faltering month-old military operation in Somalia against the Shabab, a powerful Al Qaeda-linked militia. Administration officials are considering the request, which came through the State Department, to provide military surveillance and reconnaissance that could include imagery from drone aircraft. Such aid would represent a significant expansion of U.S. involvement in the chaotic East African nation.
November 11, 2011 |
When his parents were killed in a rocket attack, the only person to show a lonely Somali boy named Abdi any kindness, or say a caring word, was a family friend named Abdufazil. The man bought him meat and camel milk. Then he sent the 13-year-old to a training camp to become a suicide bomber. Abdufazil was a commander of the militant Islamist militia Shabab in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, and he told the boy that Christians had killed his parents. He and other Shabab fighters urged him to take revenge for the attack.
November 4, 2011 |
In Nairobi's "Little Mogadishu" neighborhood, paranoia drifts in the air, mingling with cooking smells and the stink of open drains. "I'm living in a world of fear," says Ahmed Ali Ibrahim, a tall, skinny 35-year-old Somali refugee with a shrapnel scar under his skull cap. "I can't walk about freely. " Ibrahim says he fled his homeland for Kenya, seeking safety after being wounded last year in a grenade attack on African Union peacekeepers by the Shabab, the Somali militant group linked to Al Qaeda.
October 30, 2011 |
The commander of Kenya's defense forces declared Saturday that his troops would remain in neighboring Somalia until the threat from the militant Islamist militia Shabab is eliminated and Kenyans feel safe. Given the messiness of other countries' incursions in Somalia, the vow by defense forces chief Gen. Julius Karangi suggests that Kenya's first military adventure since independence nearly half a century ago could be a long one. In 1992, U.S.-led forces launched Operation Restore Hope, which led to the "Black Hawk Down" catastrophe of October 1993, in which 18 U.S. troops were killed and the bodies of some of them dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
October 25, 2011 |
The Kenyan capital was hit Monday by two blasts apparently aimed at civilians a little more than a week after government troops were sent into the country's war-torn neighbor, Somalia. One person was reported dead and more than 20 were injured in the attacks. No one immediately claimed responsibility. But a spokesman for insurgents with the Shabab group last week warned that the group would cause violence in Nairobi if Kenyan troops were not withdrawn. In the first attack, a grenade strike at a bar in downtown Nairobi early Monday injured about 12, with most suffering cuts and scratches.
October 21, 2011 |
The African Union on Friday dismissed claims by Somali insurgents that they had killed dozens of alliance soldiers in Mogadishu, contending that Shabab had dressed the corpses of its own dead in AU uniforms as a propaganda stunt. The Islamist militia, which is linked to Al Qaeda, displayed dozens of bodies — along with Bibles and wooden crosses that purportedly belonged to the dead — on the outskirts of the war-torn Somali capital Thursday, claiming to have killed about 70 peacekeepers.
October 19, 2011 |
A 66-year-old Frenchwoman who was abducted by a band of Somali gunmen at the beginning of the month has died in captivity, French authorities announced Wednesday. Marie Dedieu, who used a wheelchair, lived in a modest beachfront house on Manda Island in the Lamu resort archipelago on Kenya's northern coast. She was seized by gunmen, thrown into a speedboat and taken to Somalia, a war-torn country that has become a base for piracy. Kenyan authorities unsuccessfully pursued the kidnappers.
October 5, 2011 |
A suicide truck bombing that killed an estimated 70 people, including students hoping for foreign scholarships, underscores the intent of an Islamic militant group to ensure that Somalia remains ungovernable and a secure base for its global struggle against the West. U.S. officials say the Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the bombing Tuesday in Mogadishu, the capital, appears to be strengthening its ties with Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen. They fear it also is increasing cooperation with an extremist network in Nigeria.