Terror attack: Somalia raid forces military to change tack

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 00:00 | By
Then Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo receives KDF soldiers to the country in January, 2016 after the El Adde attack. Photo/PD/FILE

Exactly four years ago today, an unknown number of al Shabaab militants attacked Kenyan forces in Somalia.

The unexpected raid completely changed the way the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF)  conduct their core business in Somalia, with the Department of Defence headquarters saying that adequate measures have been put in place to ensure that such attacks do not happen again.

Following the attack, the KDF changed tact, and adopted a multi-pronged approach to fighting terrorists especially in Somalia.

Apart from the targeted operations aimed at reducing the fighting capability, the soldiers under Amisom are also involved in civil-military cooperation activities and other alternative tactical approaches.

These, according to KDF Sector 2 Commander Brigadier Dickson Ruto, are also aimed at winning the hearts and minds of Somali people to among other things, allow free exchange of intelligence.

The KDF are now engaging the local population more by not only protecting them but also ensure that business thrives.

In an earlier interview with People Daily, Brig. Ruto said they were also involved in opening and securing the main roads to allow the movement of goods in the region and well as delivery of public services like health.  

“It is not a question of body count. The measure of success is getting the support of the locals, for the flow of information,” he said.

But even as they do this, the KDF is involved in supporting efforts to build the capacity of the Somali Security Forces to be able to take over security responsibilities—in a country that is currently dealing with drought, hunger, civil war and terror—when Amisom exits.

Insecurity meeting

Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta is this morning scheduled to  meet  senior government officials and security chiefs in Mombasa to discuss, among other things, the rising insecurity in the country.

During yesterday’s State of the Nation address, the President only dwelt on dealing with cartels and shied away from discussing insecurity.

The heads of the national security organs, officials from the Director of Public Prosecutions, regional commissioners, police commanders among others are expected to discuss the policing challenges experienced in the country especially in the wake of recent terror attacks.

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