Operation Linda Nchi


Operation Linda Nchi
Operation Linda Nchi
Part of the War in Somalia (2009–)
Date October 16, 2011 – present
Location Somalia
Result Ongoing:
  • Coordinated forces capture Qoqani,[1] Kolbio[2]
Belligerents
 Kenya[3]
Somalia TFG[3]
Ras Kamboni Movement[4][5][6][7][8]
 Ethiopia (alleged)[9][10]
Supported by:

 France[11]
 Israel[12]
 United States (alleged)[13]

ShababFlag.svg Al-Shabaab
Supported by:
 Eritrea (alleged)[14]
Commanders and leaders
Ahmed Madobe

Somalia Hussein Arab Isse[15]
Kenya Julius Karangi[16]
Kenya Leonard Ngondi[17]
Kenya Mohamed Yusuf Haji[15]

Ibrahim al-Afghani[18][19]

Ahmad Godane[20]
Mukhtar Robow[20][21]
Hassan Turki[20][22][23]
Sheikh Aweys[24]

Strength
Somalia: 9,800 soldiers[25]
Kenya: 1,600 soldiers[26]
Al-Shabaab:
3,000 hard-core fighters, 2,000 allied militants[20]
Casualties and losses
Total: 28-65 soldiers killed[27][28][29][30][31]
  • Kenya: 8 killed (government claim)[32]

16 kenyan soldiers injured[33][34][35][36]
1 patrol boat damaged[37]
1 Z-9 helicopter crashed (non-combat loss)[nb 1]

94 militants killed[38][39][31]
10 militants captured[nb 2]
9 civilians killed (Somalia)[40][41]

10 civilians killed (Kenya)[42][43]

Operation Linda Nchi[44] (English: Protect the country[45]; Swahili: Linda Nchi[46]) is the codename for a coordinated military operation between the Somalian military, the Kenyan military, the French military, and allegedly the Ethiopian military and United States military that began on an unspecified date in mid-October 2011, when troops from Kenya crossed the border into the conflict zones of southern Somalia.[47] The soldiers were in pursuit of Al-Shabaab militants that are alleged to have kidnapped several foreign tourists and aid workers inside Kenya.[48] According to the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, the operation represents one of the final stages in the Islamist insurgency of the Somali Civil War.[49]

Contents

Overview

Kenya's incursion into southern Somalia started after the kidnapping of two Spanish women, who were working for Medecins Sans Frontieres at the Dadaab refugee camp. The abductions were allegedly carried out by Al Shabaab militants.[50] The Kenyan government claimed its troop deployment had received approval from the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG).[51] Kenya's Foreign Affairs Minister, Moses Wetangula, stated that the deployment of Kenyan troops was at the request of the TFG.[52] The Kenyan military said that there was no set exit date for the operation, but the indicator of the mission's success would be a crippling of Al-Shabaab's capacity.[13]

According to The Guardian, "several sources agree[...] that the Kenyan intervention plan was discussed and decided in 2010, then finalised with input from western partners, including the US and to a lesser extent France", with Nairobi using the kidnappings "as an excuse to launch an operation ready and waiting."[53] On 27 October Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua said that the incursion had been planned months in advance and that the operation had been "going on for quite some time", as well as denying any participation by western forces.[54] The operation has a high approval rating from the Kenyan population.[55]

On 16 October, Reuters reported that Somalian and Kenyan military officials had met over the weekend for talks in the town of Dhobley, situated near the Somalia-Kenya border. According to an unidentified security source, "A team comprising Kenya Army and Rapid Deployment Unit [police] officers left our border last evening and went to Dhobley. They held a meeting with top officers of the TFG [Somali] forces for about two hours before they came back[...] The meeting was to prepare a joint operation between the two forces which is meant to launch an offensive against Al-Shabaab rebels who are scattered in different parts of southern Somalia".[56]

On 16 October, an unnamed Somali military commander said that Kenyan troops had crossed the border and in a joint operation with Somalian forces pushed Al Shabaab out of two bases near the Kenyan border. Abdi Yusuf, a senior Somali military commander, confirmed that two warplanes had attacked Al Shabaab bases, but did not confirm whether they were Kenyan. He noted: "I can't identify the military aircraft, but our neighbour Kenya is fully supporting us militarily and our mission is to drive Al-Shabaab out of the region".[57] In response to the incursion, Somalia's ambassador to Kenya, Mohamed Ali Nur, was quoted as stating: "We cannot condone any country crossing our border."[58] TFG spokesman Abdirahman Omar Yarisow later contradicted Nur, asserting that "the governments of Somalia and Kenya are now cooperating in the fight against Al-Shabaab."[59]

On 18 October, Somalia's President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and other TFG officials hosted a Kenyan delegation in Mogadishu to discuss security issues cooperation against Al-Shabaab.[60] Somalia's Defence Minister Hussein Arab Isse and Kenya's Minister of Defence Mohamed Yusuf Haji then signed an agreement to collaborate against Al-Shabaab.[15] Both countries pledged to "co-operate in undertaking security and military operations", including "co-ordinated pre-emptive action".[61] The agreement reportedly restricts Kenyan activities to the southern Lower Juba region.[62]

Despite media reports claiming otherwise, Kenyan defence minister Yusuf Haji denied the involvment of the Kenyan military in the capture by TFG forces of some Al-Shabaab bases in lower Juba. He added that "Kenya trained more TFG troops in the past and they are battling now against al-Shabaab in southern Somalia regions and we are giving them both logistical and financial support." Somalia's Defence Minister Isse welcomed Kenya's participation, stating that Somalia "need[ed] the support of Kenya so that our forces will be able to end al-Shabaab or any other threats against both Kenya and Somalia".[60]

On 24 October, President Ahmed stated again that although he welcomed Kenyan logistical support, he was against the Kenyan military presence.[51] These statements before the press appeared to contradict the signed cooperative agreement between the Somalian and Kenyan Defence ministers on 18 October.[62] Ahmed claimed his administration and people in Somalia opposed the presence of Kenyan troops since the Somalian federal government "had no agreement with Kenya beyond helping us with logistics".[15] According to media, Ahmed's remarks may have stemmed from fears that the Kenyan government supported the establishment of an autonomous Jubaland in the south of Somalia.[63] Ahmed had reportedly previously protested the deployment 2500 Somalis trained in Kenya to southern Somalia, arguing that the forces be sent to Mogadishu to support the TFG there.[64]

A leaked 2010 cable detailing a meeting between the TFG and the United States government (USG) states that "Sharif offered a qualified "yes" when asked if he supported the [Government of Kenya's (GOK)] Lower Juba initiative" and that he "told the GOK that the TFG did not want to see Somalia further divided[...] The GOK had reassured the TFG that it also did not want to see Somalia divided and that it intended to use the troops now being trained in Kenya for a national not a regional mission." The cable also suggests that "[Ahmed's] qualified willingness to support the long-incubated Kenyan Lower Juba initiative at this meeting was at variance with the skepticism he had expressed to Somalia Unit in Nairobi about two weeks ago", where Sharif "suggested that the troops in training at Isiolo did not have broad-based clan representation and speculated that it might be better to bring them to Mogadishu and integrate them into existing TFG security forces. He also in that meeting seemed more skeptical of the GOK's ability to manage a cross-border offensive." In addition, the cable states that "Sharif predicted that efforts to reform TFG security forces in Mogadishu, TFG outreach to ASWJ, and troops trained by Kenya and Ethiopia would coalesce into a comprehensive effort to push al-Shabaab out of south central Somalia."[65]

Prime Minister of Somalia Abdiweli Mohamed Ali had released a statement indicating that the military operation would help firm up on regional security. However, he later reportedly disowned any pact that the Somalian authorities had with the Kenyan government to cross the border into Somalia, stating that "We do not have agreement with Kenya. We understand that we need to defend against the militants but there is no proof saying that we agreed with Kenya".[66] He dismissed media reports suggesting he disagreed with the President.[67] The two issued a joint statement on 27 October denying any agreement between the TFG and Kenyan government to allow the Kenyan incursion into Somalia.[64] In allusion to a cooperative agreement with the Kenyan government reached before the October 18th Mogadishu pact, Somalian Defence Minister Isse also indicated that "the Somali Government and the Kenyan ministers only agreed to tackle the fighting against Al-Shabaab jointly by Kenya supporting the Somali forces."[67]

The opposition to Kenya's action was criticised by some other TFG officials, militia allied to the TFG, and many ordinary Somalians.[64] Many felt that Sharif did not fully understand the negative impact of Al-Shabaab's actions on the general public. Protests reportedly took place in the towns of Dhobley, Tabto and Qoqani, areas where Kenyan troops had passed through.[51] His position reportedly conflicted with that of some Somalian military and TFG officials, the latter of whom considered the deployment of Kenyan troops to be an extension of Kenya's support in ousting the Al-Shabaab rebels.[66]

On 31 October, a Somalian delegation led by Prime Minister Ali met in Nairobi with the Kenyan Premier Raila Odinga and other government officials to iron out differences and to outline a joint strategy vis-a-vis Operation Linda Nchi. After lengthy talks, the delegations issued a joint communique pledging coordinated military, political and diplomatic support for the mission, requesting that AMISOM peacekeepers police areas captured from Al-Shabaab, and that the International Criminal Court (ICC) begin formal investigations against the group's commanders. The communique declared that "the Somalia government supports the activities of the Kenyan forces, which are being fully coordinated with the TFG of Somalia".[52] The Kenyan Premier Odinga took the opportunity to dispel media reports alleging that the Kenyan government supported plans to form an autonomous Jubaland region in southern Somalia. He also emphasized that Kenya had no "imperialist designs", and that, in order to encourage post-conflict reconstruction, the Somalian and Kenyan governments would collectively support the establishment of local administrations in liberated areas according to domestic consensus. In addition, Somalian Prime Minister Ali urged the international community to support the joint operation, and stated that the mission "would be led by Somali forces with support of Kenyan forces". The two delegations also formed a joint "high-level co-ordinating committee" to maintain regular contacts between their respective governments.[68]

On 12 November, Lindsay Kiptiness, a senior official in Kenya's Foreign Ministry, announced that the Kenyan government was attempting to secure the support of TFG backers from the Arab and Islamic worlds.[69] Asked to comment by the BBC on Kenya's bid for assistance, former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia David H. Shinn indicated that since Kenya is not a member of the Arab League and Somalia is, "if the TFG and Kenya have coordinated their positions, it is possible the Arab League, which has been supportive of the TFG in the past, might issue a positive statement on Kenya’s involvement in Somalia." Shinn added that "the Arab League is not likely to offer any tangible support", but that "a positive statement might, however, encourage one or more Arab League members on their own to offer tangible support."[70]

On 17 November, Somalia's President Sharif Ahmed met in Nairobi with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. All three leaders agreed on a joint approach in combating the Al Shabaab militia so as to assure regional security.[2]

On 18 November, Voice of America reported that an alliance of countries in East Africa were planning a broader joint military campaign to quash Al-Shabaab. An Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) meeting slated for 25 November would reportedly urge all member nations, including Ethiopia, to contribute troops to the operation. Ethiopian officials indicated that no decision had officially been reached with regard to joining the troop contributing nations. However, Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti stated that "You can simply guess Ethiopia is going to be part and parcel of this process[...] The decision is not made as to sending the army, but per the IGAD council's resolutions of the past months, all IGAD member countries, the African Union and others also will be summoned, will be called, will be expected to somehow contribute something to strengthening the operations in Somalia."[71]

On 19 November, local residents reported witnessing 28 Ethiopian military trucks and APCs loaded with troops establish a forward base in Guri'el. Ethiopian government spokesman Shimeles Kemal would not confirm or deny the report.[10] However, Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti dismissed the reports of the Ethiopian military's deployment as "absolutely not true, there are absolutely no troops in Somalia[...] People are simply speculating". Mufti added that "there is an intention on the part of IGAD members to bolster peacekeeping forces, because as you know the regional countries are working on increasing the numbers of AMISOM".[9] Somalian government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman also denied that Ethiopian troops had entered the country, stating that the Ethiopian military would first "need a mandate" or a bilateral agreement since the TFG "don't want anyone that could give propaganda for al-Shabab[...] We don't want any backlash."[72]

On 21 November, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki met in Abu Dhabi with the President of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as part of a state visit. Both leaders affirmed their commitment to stabilizing the security situation in southern Somalia and supporting post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the territory.[73]

Belligerents

Al-Shabaab

The Al-Shabaab Islamist group is the main target of the operation.[74] Al-Shabaab officially denied involvement in any of the kidnappings.[51] Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the group, said that its fighters would attack Kenya unless the Kenyan troops are withdrawn. He also claimed that bombardment by Kenyan aircraft had caused damage to infrastructure and civilian casualties. According to Al-Jazeera, Al-Shabaab have attempted to capitalize on the incursion by depicting itself as a resistance force fighting foreign occupiers and urged local residents to take up arms against the Kenyan soldiers.[74] According to the Kenyan government, the organization is supported by Eritrea.[75]

Somalia

On 18 October, President of Somalia Sharif Ahmed and other TFG officials hosted a Kenyan delegation in Mogadishu[60] where Somalia's Defence Minister Hussein Arab Isse and Kenya's Minister of Defence Mohamed Yusuf Haji agreed to collaborate against Al-Shabaab.[15] On 24 October, Ahmed again stated that although he welcomed Kenyan logistical support, he was against the Kenyan military presence,[51] contradicting the agreement made on the 18th.[62] He and the Somalian Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali issued a joint statement on 27 October denying any agreement between the TFG and Kenyan government to allow the Kenyan incursion into Somalia,[64] a stance criticised by other TFG officials.[51] A joint communique issued on 31 October by the Prime Ministers of Somalia and Kenya on behalf of their respective governments noted "the current operations are being led by the TFG of Somalia Forces with the support of the Kenyan Defence Forces".[3]

Kenya

According to the Associated Press, Kenya had not "actively engaged" in the conflict in southern Somalia prior to this operation.[76] According to a correspondent with The Independent, Kenya had previously been supporting at least two militias in southern Somalia in a proxy war against Al-Shabaab, but moved instead to a direct presence of Kenyan troops once that strategy had failed.[58] Kenya's military is regarded as inexperienced and reporters voiced doubts that it has the capacity to conduct the required logistical operations.[61] A joint communique issued on 31 October by the Kenyan and Somalian governments stated that the Kenyan forces were fully cooperating with Somali forces in a TFG led operation.[3]

An African Union initiative calls for the Kenyan soldiers to eventually be brought under AMISOM's command.[71]

Ethiopia

Ethiopia's possible involvement in the coordinated operation was formally raised in November, following an IGAD initiative calling for all member nations to contribute troops to the effort against Al-Shabaab.[71]

Media subsequently reported eye witness accounts alleging that Ethiopian troops had set up positions in border areas of southern Somalia. This marks Ethiopia's first large scale intervention in the Somali Civil War since January 2009, when it withdrew troops after an inconclusive effort to support the Transitional Federal Government by defeating the Islamic Courts Union.[10][9] Ethiopian officials would not comment directly on the troop build-up in Guri'el, where it had previously established a base during its 2006 intervention, but at least one suggested that Ethiopia could be expected to join the operation.[10]

According to Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti, Ethiopia's formal role in the operation is scheduled to be announced at a multinational 25 November IGAD conference.[71]

France

Kenyan military officials said on 23 October that France had joined the operation, with the French Navy shelling Al Shabaab positions on the Somali coast. They also attributed air-strikes against Al Shabaab that had increased since the start of Operation Linda Nchi to either France or the United States.[47] However, the French embassy in Kenya denied that the French navy had taken part in such an operation, and said that "there are no French warships in the vicinity of this area" and that the "embassy would appreciate if the newspapers would kindly correct the false impression created on this matter".[77] A spokesman for the French military also told French media that no French forces were engaged in Somalia.[11] On 25 October, Col Thierry Burkhard of the French military specified that French planes were transporting military equipment to Kenyan troops at an airport near the Somalian border. However, he likewise denied claims by Kenyan army officials that a French battleship had shelled positions in Somalia.[51]

United States

Although Kenyan officials have alleged support by United States aircraft, the U.S. government has not confirmed its participation in the operation.[47]

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Air Force has been sharing surveillance data with the Kenyan military that it gathered via unarmed MQ-9 Reaper drones flying out of Arba Minch in southern Ethiopia. Also known as "hunter drones", the planes have been used for intelligence activities in Somalia and Yemen and also possess the ability to transport missiles and satellite-guided bombs.[66]

Eritrea

The United Nations has consistently accused Eritrea of aiding Al-Shabaab. In early November 2011, media reports also claimed that the Eritrean government had sent two plane-loads of arms to Al-Shabaab insurgents in southern Somalia. Eritrea's Foreign Minister issued a press release dismissing the charges as "pure fabrication and outright lies", and suggested that the reports were part of a "disinformation campaign" with the intended effect of discrediting Eritrea.[78]

On 3 November, Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula met with the Eritrean ambassador to Kenya to seek clarification on intelligence allegations that weapons were being flown to Al-Shabaab from Eritrea.[75] Wetangula later told the press on 11 November that Kenya would consider "reviewing diplomatic ties" with Eritrea if the Eritrean government did not provide a satisfactory account of the situation.[79]

On 12 November, Eritrea's envoy to Nairobi Beyene Russom told the press that his government had no objections vis-a-vis Operation Linda Nchi. He blamed the allegations that Eritrea was supplying weapons to Al-Shabaab on lack of due diligence on the part of the media. Russom also accused Ethiopia, stating that "We have nothing against Kenya. This piling up of accusations is the work, as we believe, of Ethiopia to camouflage its illegal military occupation of Eritrean territory. What is being said now about the planeload of weapons to Al-Shabaab again we believe is a creation of Ethiopia." With regard to Wetangula's warning that the Kenyan government would severe ties, Russom indicated that Asmara believed the Kenyan authorities were acting on false information. Eritrea's Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed is scheduled to arrive in Nairobi for talks on the issue.[79]

Other

On 21 October, the regional IGAD met in Addis Ababa and agreed unanimously to support the coordinated military operation in southern Somalia. Ethopian Deputy Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegne also indicated that his country may join the military campaign, as "the long term goal is to eradicate al Shabaab from Somalia and this is the proper time and the process shows al-Shabaab is coming to an end".[80]

On 29 October, at a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia, Rwanda President Paul Kagame and South African President Jacob Zuma both pledged support for the mission, after Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki informed them of the joint operations with the Somali government. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete pledged support to regional, continental, and international bodies with aims to stabilise the Horn of Africa.[81]

On 14 November, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that it had made an offer to Kenyan PM Odinga to help Kenyan authorities secure the nation's borders and detect al-Shabaab networks in the country. Kenya requested vehicles for border patrols, aide developing its police forces, and sea-surveillance equipment.[82][83]

Events

On 17 October, media reported that Somalian Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces had taken control of the town of Qoqani. Kenyan air support reportedly assisted in the battle, with attack helicopters bombarding Al-Shabaab positions. Some reports also suggested involvement by the United States military, though Somalian and Kenyan officials alluded only to Kenyan participation in the clash. TFG spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman indicated that Kenyan troops were only supplying "logistical and moral support" and that Somalian military officers were actually combating the Islamist militants.[1] The number of casualties is unknown.[1]

One Z-9 helicopter is reported to have been lost due to mechanical failure[84] while undertaking support operations in Liboi town. 5 Kenyan soldiers died in the crash.[85] The operation reportedly involves "truckloads" of soldiers, helicopters, and warplanes.[86] At least two Kenyan battalions of 800 men each have been committed to the campaign.[87]

A car bomb exploded in Mogadishu as Kenyan ministers visited the capital on 18 October, leaving at least two people dead and 15 injured.[88] On October 24, French media reported that the Somalian army and Kenyan troops were advancing toward the southern town of Afmadow, with the eventual aim of seizing Kismayo from the Islamists.[11] Eyewitnesses report that al-Shabaab had confiscated trucks to bring fresh troops to Afmadow and started building an entrenchment system.[89]

Early on 24 October, a Russian made F1 grenade was detonated in the Mwauras disco in Kenya's captial Nairobi. The detonation injured 14 people. The local police linked the attack to al-Shabaab.[90] It was followed by a second attack at evening against a bus stop. The second attacked killed at least one person and injured eight.[91] A suspect was arrested and pleaded guilty for both attacks. He said that he is a member of al-Shabaab.[92] Identified by the media as Elgiva Bwire Oliacha (alias Mohamed Seif), a recent Kenyan Muslim convert, he was sentenced to life in prison after having pleaded guilty. The man reportedly smiled at cameras, stated that he harbored no regrets, and indicated that he would not appeal his sentence.[30][93]

According to Somalian military officials, air-strikes bombed targets in the southern town of Kismayo, an al-Shabaab stronghold.[11] Although the origin of the assault jet could not be determined,[77] French media have speculated that it could belong to the French military.[11] Al-Shabaab said that the attack has caused no casualties.[77]

On 27 October, four civilians were killed when their car was attacked by unidentified assailants near the Kenyan-Somali border in Mandera. It is, however, unclear whether al-Shabaab was behind the attack.[91]

On 28 October, a Kenyan military convoy was ambushed by Al-Shabaab militants between the towns of Tabda and Bilis Qoqani in southern Somalia. Assisting Somalian federal troops, the convoy was positioned 60 kilometres (37 mi) from the border, on the Kismayo route, According to the BBC, the ambush represents the Kenyan troops' first confrontation with Al-Shabaab insurgents and reportedly lasted 30 minutes. A spokesman for the Kenyan military told the press that the attack left nine Al-Shabaab fighters dead and two Kenyan soldiers injured. Abdul Asis Abu Muscab, a spokesman for the group, also indicated that the ambush represented the beginning of the fighting and that further attacks would ensue.[30]

On 30 October, Kenya Air Force fighter jets bombed the town of Jilib, killing 10 and injuring at least 45. Some of these were reported to be civilians.[94] Kenya admitted conducting an air raid but blames al-Shabaab for the death of the civilians. Kenya's prime minister Raila Odinga said that civilian deaths were regrettable and any incidents would result in an investigation. he however blamed alshabab for causing the civilian casualties by stating that an alshabab technical mounted with a machinegun that was targeted during the air raid drove into a civilian compound while on fire and exploded, leading to civilian casualties.[95]

On 31 October, TFG troops killed at least ten Al-Shabaab insurgents during clashes in Busar and Modaale, villages near the town of Elwak. TFG forces were reported to be nearing the port of Burgabo, 140 kilometres south of Kismayo.[66] On 1 November the Kenyan military announced that it would attack ten Somali towns including Kismayo.[95] By 2 November Al-Shabaab began conscripting residents to help defend the entrenched Kismayo, while at sea a skiff carrying fuel was sunk by the Kenyan navy killing 18 militants.[96]

On 3 November, Kenyan military spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir warned Kenyan and Somalian merchants via Twitter not to sell donkeys to Al-Shabaab, as the group has now "resorted to using donkeys to transport their weapons." He also cautioned the public that any "large concentration and movement of loaded donkeys will be considered an al-Shabab activity."[97][98]

On 10 November, al-Shabaab fighters ambushed a Kenyan convoy in between the towns of Tabda and Bills Qoqani. The fighting which started in the afternoon continued overnight and according to al-Shabaab they managed to kill 30 Kenyan troops and destroy six Kenyan military trucks. The TFG, however, claimed only 21 soldiers had been killed and that only three trucks were destroyed, while four were captured by al-Shabaab.[29] Kenya,s military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir was however quick to deny the claims, and stated that alshabab had resorted to a propaganda campaign and categorically stated that the reports carried on Irans's press tv to be unsubstantiated and completely false."Attention of the Ministry of State for Defence has been drawn to the influx of propaganda and false information in regards to the on-going operation in Somalia. The continued false reporting by Press TV and other like minded media is unacceptable and should not be taken as factual information and events," said Major Chirchir.[99]

On 16 November, TFG and Kenyan forces attacked an Al-Shabaab base in Busar. An Al-Shabaab official alleged that his group had killed 8 and captured 3 allied soldiers during the battle. Kenyan military officials denied the claim, saying that the joint forces had killed 12 militants but incurred no casualties. Later that day, al-Shabaab attacked Raskamboni movement positions in the town of Kulbio near Dobley.[31]

On 19 November, Kenyan Colonel Cyrus Oguna told the press that information and intelligence volunteered by local residents in southern Somalia had greatly assisted Kenyan forces. He cited captured Al-Shabaab positions as a testimony to this fact, and suggested that more areas would be secured courtesy of this information. The volunteered intelligence had also reportedly helped the soldiers successfully manage a change in tactics by the Al-Shabaab militants, the latter of whom had reportedly resorted to disguising themselves as women in order to escape the joint Somalian and Kenyan troops.[2]

On 20 November, Kenyan forces assisted by warships reportedly destroyed an Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda training facility in Hola Wajeer, situated in Lower Juba's Badhadhe District. A military convoy of Somalian and Kenyan troops was also ambushed in between the towns of Tabto and Dobley. According to a TFG official, the allied forces' casualties totaled one dead and several wounded TFG soldiers as well as a burned TFG vehicle, while 10 Al-Shabaab militants were killed.[100]

On 21 November 2011 Kenyan military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir warned that the militants planned to release a video clip showing allegedly captured Kenyan soldiers being executed. He said this was part of the propaganda campaign against the operation. He said the relationship of the Kenyan and Somali military with the local people in the areas where Al-Shabaab have been flushed out continues to thrive. “Based on this, we received concrete information of an arms trade and Al-Shabaab infiltration which were countered successfully,” he said in a statement. [101]

Notes

  1. ^ Casualties and losses according to Kenyan military:
    2 Kenyan soldier killed in fighting
    5 Kenyan soldiers killed in non-combat helicopter crash; c.f. [1]
    Casualties and losses according to Al-Shabaab:
    20 Kenyan soldiers killed in ambush; c.f [2]
  2. ^ Casualties and losses according to Kenyan military:
    Hundreds of Al-Shabaab militants killed in fighting; c.f [3]
    Kenyan military releases a Youtube video showing an alleged Al-Shabaab vessel burning -- spokesman claims all 18 militants aboard were killed; c.f. [4]

References

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  2. ^ a b c Somalis helping Kenyan forces tackle Shabaab
  3. ^ a b c d Joint Communique - Operation Linda Nchi
  4. ^ Former Alshabaab, Ras Kamboni leader talks to Kenyan Media
  5. ^ Kenya looks to Somali troops, militia to create border buffer
  6. ^ Al shabab, Raskamboni claim victory over fighting
  7. ^ Kenya’s Political Failure in Southern Somalia
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  16. ^ Kenya military chief suggests Somalia incursion could be long
  17. ^ The General Tasked With Wiping Out Al-Shabaab
  18. ^ Who are al-Shabab?
  19. ^ Murky world of Somalia's Islamist insurgents
  20. ^ a b c d New York Times Al Shabab
  21. ^ Somali rebel urges attacks on Kenya
  22. ^ Kenyan troops 100km inside Somalia
  23. ^ Al-Shabaab threaten reprisals as Kenyan troops push into rebel-held Somalia
  24. ^ Eritrea rejects Kenyan al-Shabab arms claims
  25. ^ Somali army trains to fight al-Qaida-linked rebels
  26. ^ Kenya: Rain Slows Down Army in Somalia
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  99. ^ 7Kenya's military might, November 7 , 2011
  100. ^ Kenya: Al-Qaeda Camp Hit By Kenya Jets and Ships
  101. ^ Kenya and Amisom plan joint onslaught

Al-Qaeda Camp Hit By Kenya Jets and Ships http://allafrica.com/stories/201111210951.html


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