As Kenya attempts to pacify the Islamist Al Shabab movement in Somalia, issues of poverty and security may go unaddressed back home, says guest blogger Alex Thurston.
By most accounts, Kenya’s incursion into Somalia has succeeded militarily, as measured by Kenya’s goals of taking territory and inflicting casualties on the Muslim rebel movement Al Shabab. In a sense, the Kenyan advance has also succeeded politically: Kenya has gained some international legitimacy for its mission by moving to join the African Union forces there, a step the United Nations seems to be endorsing.
But on other political fronts, seeds of a backlash are being sown.
For one thing, there is the question of radicalization inside Kenya. A wave of minor attacks have occurred in Kenya this winter, and Britain warned earlier this month that more attacks are on the way. A Kenyan Muslim organization now says it is officially representing Al Shabab in Kenya, reports the Associated Press:
The statement by the Kenya-based Muslim Youth Center came amid a flurry of warnings from embassies about planned terror attacks in Kenya. The Somali militant group al-Shabab has promised to attack Kenya for its decision to send troops to Somalia in October.