The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia

"The government’s hasty, insufficiently prepared decision to intervene militarily in Somalia will have profound consequences for stability in both countries. Al-Shabaab now clearly intends not only to destabilise the North Eastern Province, but also to undermine Kenya’s social harmony. Unless there is a settlement in southern Somalia, Nairobi cannot expect stability in its own border regions; indeed, instability might also reach the centre. Creating stability in southern Somalia does not mean only defeating Al-Shabaab. Kenya, with the help of its partners, must now develop a political plan that includes attractive incentives for local clans to work together and share the region’s wealth and foreign assistance. That will require careful planning and support, as well as continued international involvement in development and capacity-building. It will also mean taking control of Kismayo port’s revenues – a perennial source of inter-clan conflict – out of individual clan calculations by creating an internationally-supported and monitored mechanism that will transparently and equitably allocate this resource throughout the region. Unless this occurs, there is little chance for long-term peace in the Juba Valley. This briefing is an independent treatment of the Kenyan intervention in Somalia, some elements, in particular issues related to Al-Shabaab, Kenyan Somalis, and North Eastern Province, have also been discussed in earlier Crisis Group reporting."