I have just discovered that the Kenya Defence Forces are aiming at a larger goal with their invasion of Somali and it is larger than we all know –To control a whole area known as Jubaland or officially as Azania.
Unlike what has reported in your conventional media houses over the last few days, The Kenya Army is not only chasing the Al Shabaab, it is targeting three other groups namely Islamic Front for Liberation of Oromia, Akwan Al Muslimia both of which have been fighting the Ethiopian government.
There is also Ittihad Al Islam.
So serious is Kenya on the war front that a special elite squad that has been undergoing continous desert like training since 2008 and based at Gilgil Army barracks is the one on the frontline supplying intelligence and carving routes of affront for Kenyan soldiers.
The special Elite Forces Squad has been trained to carry out frontline fighting without retreat under harsh conditions.
As a tactical approach the Army which intends to create the buffer zone inside Jubbaland for the long haul, is not ruling out conscription – especially of young unemployed youth.
The conscripted youths will be subjected to short military courses and then dispatched to the front line in the interest of the country. In recent times nations have been abolishing conscription as a form of military recruitment.
However, that will not happen during the initial phases of the war but eventually to sustain the buffer zone on the anticipated new autonomous Azania state.
Now Azania has already unveiled its flag and as recently as April this year elected a President and Kenya will be controlling it to form a third unit after Punt land and Somaliland.
The Kenyan Army is fighting across the Northern Frontier creating not only a buffer zone but a militia free zone, which will lead to a new administrative unit controlled by Kenya and Somali (Kenyan) trained soldiers.
But thats not all it now emerges that Kenya as early as 2006 hatched what it dubbed the Jubaland initiative with an aim of controlling the entire Southern Somalia, starting from the port of Kismaiyo to the Kenyan border.
Its also paramount to note that In 2010, residents of Somalia’s Juba region established a new secular regional administration.
This Jubaland Initiative was created to bring about local stability, in the model of the autonomous Puntland and Somaliland regions in the northern part of the country.
Kenya has expressed interest in helping to develop the new regional administration so as to establish a buffer zone between it and the Islamist insurgency in southern Somalia.
However, neighboring Ethiopia is reportedly unhappy about the Jubaland Initiative and Kenya’s involvement in it, as it fears that the project will have an effect on its own military struggle against rebels in the Somali-inhabited Ogaden region, who seek independence – one of the reasons why Kenya is chasing other militia groups other than AlShabaab.
Here a wikileak cable that shows how far the Kenyan plan dates, “U.S. ‘Opposed Kenya On Somalia Buffer Zone’
It reads, “The United States strongly opposes Kenya’s effort to establish a buffer zone in southern Somalia, The December 2009 leaked diplomatic cable reads.
A US State Department official is said to have “forcibly underscored” Washington’s concerns over reports that Kenya was “recruiting and training an ethnic Somali force as part of a ‘Jubaland’ initiative”.
US deputy Assistant Secretary of State Karl Wycoff expressed America’s position to Foreign minister Moses Wetang’ula at a meeting in Djibouti, the cable indicates.
Also in that cable some telling remarks by Wetangula, that the Kibaki administration hoped that the Kenyan-backed effort to defeat al Shabaab militants in southern Somalia would “cage in the Hawiye”, Somalia’s largest clan.
“The US should not only criticise Kenya’s plan but should also present its own proposals,” the Foreign minister is said to have suggested. “I sincerely believe that good ideas should give way to better ideas.”
Kenya could in any event no longer afford to sit on the sidelines, Wetang’ula stressed.
The threat of a major terrorist attack in Nairobi was increasing every day, he warned.
Wetangula in the cable also hinted at the diffuculty of implementing the Jubaland Initiative.
“Some excited Kenyan military officers” had “bungled the earlier phases” of the Jubaland initiative, Wetangula told the USA official.
The Jubaland plan had also been difficult to implement, Wetang’ula added, because some Kenyan politicians of Somali ethnicity “saw any effort to weaken al Shabaad as an ‘Ethiopian plot’”.
The Foreign minister voiced confidence, however, that the plan would succeed, the cable reports.
Thats not all, the whole Kenyan ambition was hinted to by PS Internal Security Francis Kimemia during a Sunday live interview with Julie Gichuru on Citizen TV, he said, ” we want that area that Al Shabaab has been holding then we can have the refugees stay there and exploit the irrigation and agricultural potential of the area.”
According to yet another cable, The whole operation, was being funded by China, “A 17 February memo from the US embassy in Nairobi said China was providing weapons to Kenya “in support of its Somalia policies”, and computers and telecommunications equipment to the Kenyan National Security and Intelligence Service (NSIS).
The memo said that, in January, China provided “weapons, ammunition, supplies, and textiles for making uniforms” via the Chinese military import-export corporation Catic.
The goods were to in support of the GOK’s Kenya’s “Jubaland initiative”, Jubaland is being the southern-most Somali province on the borderng with Kenya.
To Kenya’s advantage, Ethiopia is not opposed to the idea of Jubaland as long as Kenya can deal with the threat of ONLF, which as i explain earlier in this article is the other Militia group being targetted.
Whereas it aint clear whether Kenya wants to capture then force South West Somalia to be annexed, one thing is clear more land would be a major bargain for Kenya and would justify offshore drilling for oil.
Kenya aims at controlling the administrative regions of Gedo, Lower Juba and Middle Juba had estimated populations of 690,000, 400,000 and 240,000 residents, respectively.
The territory has a total area of 87,000 km² (33,000 sq mi). Its main city is Kismayo, which is situated on the coast near the mouth of the Jubba river. Bardera, Afmadow, Bu’aale and Beled Haawo are the other principal cities in the region.
Crucially, On 3 April 2011, it was announced that the new autonomous Jubaland administration would be referred to as Azania and would be led as President by Mohamed Abdi Mohamed (Gandhi), the former national Minister of Defence.
Now you have it, the real reason we are fighting is to expand our economic interests a have a share of what appears to be a scramble for Somalia, with Ethiopia already having a share of Puntland and Uganda Somaliland.