The interest of strategic military players in Somalia particularly Uganda and Ethiopia are diverse. This diversity is explained by the lust for Kismayo, the last stronghold of the Al-Qaeda Affiliated Al-Shabaab. Kismayo lies in the sector commanded by the Kenyan defense forces.
Ethiopia is not serving under AMISOM, hence its claim on Kismayo which is operated by Kenya Army is an offensive interest. Uganda and Burundi operate the Mogadishu and its neighboring districts hence their claim on Kismayo which miles away from the jurisdiction is also offensive. Intelligence gathered on Ethiopian interests in Somalia exhibit American interests with Ethiopia as the proxy. In an effort to clarify its position, Ethiopia insists its quest for Kismayo is driven by TFG and US demands. Ethiopia foreign and defense ministries have hinted that the US and TFG officials asked them to speedily take Kismayo.
What makes Kismayo the ultimate prize for the three key players (KDF, EPDF, & UPDF) is the tilting of military power in the region. While this is the theoretically correct factor, geopolitical, external forces push Uganda and Ethiopia to scramble for Kismayo and beat KDF at it.
Military and security analysts point military power as a core factor with the army that takes Kismayo as the ultimate regional super-power. However, that is partly the crux, but Kismayo is merely a port city controlling an economy but not a central government base hence less strategic both politico-economically.
The Geopolitics of Somalia Military Conflict
The geopolitics of Somalia are diverse with controversy with the West having closed its eyes and forgot the conflict. Neighboring Kenya planned for years with the US, Britain, and France how Somalia could be restored. In Somalia War Theater, the AMISOM players want to prove who is who in the regional geopolitics