Kenya Defense Forces Gains in Somalia, A Critical AnalysisFebruary 25 | Posted by David James | Intelligence News, Military Intelligence
Al-Shabaab was a 6000-strong military force in October 2011. 1500 Troops are based around and outside Mogadishu and surrounding areas. 1000 -Troops were based far north, Baidoa and 500 in Central Somalia. 3000 troops composed of special units, bomb experts, trainers, and commanders are based in South Somalia areas such as Afmadow and Kismayo. More than 1500 troops have been killed by Kenya defense forces since October 2011 to-date reducing Al-Shabaab to merely 4000-4500 strong army.
Today, UN AMISOM troops in Mogadishu can make gains since Al-Shabaab will not get reinforcements from the south. Ethiopian troops in the north are having a free-roam, as Al-Shabaab cannot respond due to lack of troops, reinforcements, ammunition, and morale. Simply Kenya Defense Forces have reduced Al-Shabaab to a running militia. They have conquered and liberated Somalia while the international community sat on the fence watching and hoping they would fail.
There are no training grounds, facilities, and resources left for Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Boats full of fleeing fighters are leaving Kismayo after KDF started infiltrating and destroying air defenses, arms depots, and cutting off Kismayo from any help from the inland. This unique strategy had one Al-Shabaab intelligence officer admit that they are confused and unable to counter Kenya defense forces.
South Somalia remains the logistical, training, and tactical planning nerve center of Al-Shabaab. This is due to the strategic locale of the Port of Kismayo, which also serves as the capital, and headquarters of the Al-Qaeda allied Al-Shabaab. Afmadow, serves Al-Shabaabs intelligence units and militia command centers. Afmadow is a transit point for arms originating from Kismayo. Kismayo is a strategic intelligence and military logistics center. It also serves as an entry point for foreign militia is coming to join the Al-Shabaab and arms besides resources for the militants.
Security experts in Africa, security forummers, and even top intelligence experts have criticized the London Somalia conference in February. The conference was a cloaked attempt to take away credit from Kenya whose record of accomplishment in conflict resolution, peacekeeping, military capacity has been admirable for many years. None of the global leaders including Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki Moon,nor PM Cameron gave Kenya a thumbs up.
Kenya facilitated the formation of the Transitional Federal government in Somalia IN 2000. In 2010 and 2011, Kenya trained about 3000 soldiers to be part of the Somali National Army and deployed them in the South of Somalia mid 2011. Chinese military aid was given to facilitate arming, movement, and sustenance of this Somali National Army force.
When Kenya defense forces stormed South Somalia in October, they straddled these Al-Shabaab held towns from Al-Shabaab system. Afmadow was isolated, quarantined, and denied of essential resources including money, arms, ammunition, food, and medicine. A naval patrol by KDF navy reduced piracy, training of new recruits, and distribution of resources to militants. Al-Shabaab started to lose clout and its military potential.
Several top Al-Shabaab leaders, trainers, and bomb experts were killed in special operations by Kenya Defense forces during their incursion since October 2011. Kenya army has struck Kismayo three times from the air dismantling air defense mounted on buildings besides arms depots. About 1500 Al-Shabaab soldiers have been killed and hundreds badly wounded in KDF led attacks on their strongholds, training facilities, and logistical positions often referred to by the international community and media as villages.
Somali villagers in the South attested to CNN that since Kenya Defense Forces came in, there has been peace, freedom, and health. Administrative centers are being set up and TFG forces maintain law and order. Kenya read the riot act to the international community by showing with actions that peace and stability could be achieved in Somalia. Nevertheless, the international community is insulting and ignoring these gains and short changing Kenya for a job well done.
Kenya defense forces are rethink strategy and the creation of a semi-autonomous country bordering Kenya so that the UN can share Mogadishu with Al-Qaeda is not so far-fetched since it was part of the initial plan during preparations for Linda Inchi.