Operation Linda Nchi


Since the inception of operation Linda Nchi in October 2011, various acts of combat have been employed by the combatants in a bid to assert their sovereignty and military power. Kenyan battalions were deployed to Somalia to battle the Al-Shabaab forces. A Kenyan military helicopter crashed at 7:55 pm 16th of October near Liboi's primary school, killing five Kenyan military personnel. The Kenyan forces were met with heavy rains in Somalia which slowed their progress. The following forces joined the Kenyan troops to back the operation after issuing a communiqué in support of Operation Linda Nchi:

  • African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)
  • Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
  • Somali National Army (SNA)
  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG)

The Kenyan Cabinet unanimously voted for Kenyan troops to secure and remain in Kismayo until the TFG or AMISOM assumes control of the port city. The TFG-aligned Ras Kamboni brigade and Kenyan troops captured the town of Ras Kamboni. Three hundred Ras Kamboni fighters entered the town, forcing al Shabaab to flee. Later, Kenyan security officials reported that al Shabaab militants ambushed Kenyan soldiers near Afmadow, killing two and injuring four others.

It was reported that French military spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard pledged limited French support for the Kenyan operation. France will assist in transporting supplies to Kenyan troops in northern Kenya. The U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Scott Grattion, denied any U.S. military operations outside of the Kenyan border and noted that the U.S. will continue with overt technical support to the Kenyan military. TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed spoke in Mogadishu questioning Kenya's offensive against al Shabaab. On 27th October 2011 Anan estimated 45 al Shabaab militants ambushed Kenyan soldiers along the road between Taabta and Qoqani at 11:30am. Kenyan military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir reported that nine al Shabaab fighters were killed and two Kenyan soldiers were injured. One of the soldiers later died of his injuries. Suspected al Shabaab militants also attacked a vehicle in Lafey in Mandera in Kenya, killing two Ministry of Education officials.

The Kenyan government extended amnesty to Kenyan members of al Shabaab, asking those who have been recruited to denounce the group and surrender to the authorities. The Kenya and Somalia jointly called for international assistance in the blockade of Kismayo.

On 1st November Al Shabaab militants ambushed a Kenyan convoy injuring three soldiers. Al Shabaab's military spokesman Sheikh Abdi Aziz Abu Mus'ab reported that al Shabaab militants had killed ten Kenyan soldiers. A subsequent al Shabaab statement claimed that its fighters ambushed a Kenyan convoy near the village of Qandis, about 35 km from Dhobley, and that three military vehicles hit by rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). A Somali military spokesman reported that a counter-attack killed 36 al Shabaab militants. Ethiopian forces crossed into Somalia's Galgudud region and were reported to have entered the villages of Qeydar and Marodile in Guriel and Banbal districts before leaving.

The government of Eritrea denied media reports that it had flown weapons into Somalia destined for al Shabaab. The Eritrean foreign ministry said, "The government of Eritrea states categorically that these accusations are pure fabrications and outright lies as Eritrea has not sent any arms to Somalia. Tuesday's baseless accusations are the latest product of a misinformation campaign orchestrated to undermine Eritrea and frustrate its constructive regional and international engagement." Kenyan military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir reported that a third planeload of weapons landed in Baidoa, the capital of Bay region. Kenyan military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir reported that al Shabaab is using donkeys to transport weapons and supplies, noting that the price of donkeys has risen from $150 to $200. He warned residents not to sell donkeys to militants and said that large movements of donkeys would be considered part of al Shabaab's activity. On 5th November two grenades were thrown at a church in Garissa in Kenya, killing two people and injuring five others. It is unclear who was responsible for the attack; Kenyan authorities have blamed al Shabaab. Gunmen also attacked a vehicle carrying Kenyan Certificate of Primary Examination papers on the 7th in Damajale near Liboi leaving five dead. A high-level meeting between the presidents of Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda in Nairobi emphasized coordination between the military forces in Somalia to defeat al Shabaab. The three countries issued a joint communiqué that reaffirmed objectives outlined in previous communiqués. Kenya announced that it would be willing to deploy troops to AMISOM; however, it is unclear whether these troops would be in addition to Kenyan forces already inside Somalia. The Kenyan government appealed through the U.S. Department of State for intelligence and logistical assistance to support its troops in Somalia. Kenyan police arrested 60 suspected al Shabaab militants destined for Somalia. Kenyan Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia said that militants entered Kenya through Uganda. Kenyan Colonel Cyrus Oguna reported that eight Kenyan soldiers had died since the start of the operation and that one was missing.

Israel expressed its willingness to send consultants to Kenya to help Kenya secure its cities from terrorist threats. This gesture was to share Israel's experience with Kenya because the operation in Somalia is very similar to Israel's past operations first in Lebanon and in Gaza Strip. This was expressed through Israel's Ambassador to Kenya Gill Haskell.

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