A Somali Army (SNA) Commander in Lower Juba region, Salman Ahmed Bashir accused the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) of refusing to participate in joint warfare against the terrorist group Shabaab Mujahideen in Kismayo, a strategic sea port city.
The Kenya Defense Forces captured the port city from the terror group in 2012 after conducting a spectacular amphibious operation. The army dislodged the militants from the city and pacified the surrounding area. KDF also successfully helped the creation of the Jubaland administration and its army.
The accusation by the Somali Army command in Lower Juba is an indicator of heavy reliance on Kenya Army. Military Intelligence reports prove that SNA have not been able to hold ground against the militants in Sanguni which is outside Gobweyn, and Jamaame. These failures weigh down on KDF kinetic operations in Lower Juba (if the local forces cannot hold ground, the helping force will be bogged down, that’d mean no progress is being made against the enemy).
Army intelligence warned Kenya Defense Forces AMISOM contingent of high risk of being targeted by terrorists’ roadside explosives when in company of SNA troops. Intelligence cited infiltration of SNA ranks by former Al-Shabaab militants now soldiers or and elements who tap on SNA communication systems and inform the terrorists about KDF deployment and routes they are using and areas they are patrolling.
However, Kenya Defense Forces is not the only Military force providing support in Lower Juba. There are other operators including the United States and the Ethiopians with equally good capabilities. The over-reliance on KDF is itself a grey area.