The Kenya government has been at pains to practise its non-alignment foreign policy, especially with no lines of communication with Somalia — a nation that has borne the brunt of warlords and factional fighting for nearly 18 years.
Somali speaking people cover the entire horn of Africa and number around 20Million spanning Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Ethiopian intelligence operatives monitoring Somalia have recommended the invasion of the country and withdrawal. They have done that in their failed attempt to sit in Mogadishu and help the Interim Somalia Government. The Kenyan provincial administration and security officials are forced to rely on unpredictable and sometimes ineffective local religious leaders to mediate and resolve issues.
However, kenya's Foreign Affairs ministry official said the Horn of Africa division, headed by a Mr Maikara, has been monitoring activities in the war-torn country over a long period.
The military intelligence, like the National Security Intelligence Service, has been monitoring the activities of Somalia refugees and other people entering the country as they patrol the notorious 1,800km border with Somalia. The money transfer systems, commonly referred to as Hawala and which does not go through the regular banking system, and other cross-border business activities are also under close scrutiny by intelligence and security agents. The influx of hundreds of thousands of Somalia refugees into Kenya, some without the documents, is causing a lot of concern within the government, especially the security agencies.
Kenya Army has instituted an operation by the name OPERATION LINDA MPAKA which was launched on 29 th December 2006 following the breakout of hostilities in Somalia between the main protagonists in the conflict, fighters of Council of Islamic Court (SCIC) fighters and the Transitional Government Forces (TGF) supported by Ethiopian forces. The conflict was trigged by an incessant stalemate in the Khartoum talks. Fundamentally Operation Linda Mpaka is intended to ensure peace and security along the Kenya- Somalia border by denying entry into Kenya fleeing SCLC political leadership, senior commands and their fighters. Since its inception, several arrests of key political leaders have been made. Similarly, persons wanted for their terrorists' activities in Somalia have also been arrested and repatriated. It is envisaged that the operation will continue for sometime subject to a general pacification in the Somalia crisis. On humanitarian civic assistance, the Kenya Army has initiated humanitarian civic initiatives targeting drilling of boreholes and the provision of medical services.
The insurgents are suspected to be involved in the inter-clan fighting that has rocked North-Eastern province on several occasions. It is for this reason that the military was deployed there to embark on a major weapons mopping operation. There are fears that different Somalia factions with cells in Kenya might extend their fighting into the country.
In early March, Somalia militia abducted four senior Kenyan education officers and their driver held them for three days on a charge of crossing into Somalia without permission. They were released after the local leaders’ intervention.
In July, last year, armed Somali militiamen crossed into Kenya at a remote Mandera outpost and ambushed and abducted two police officers. Two days later, the officers’ mutilated bodies were found hanging from trees in a hilly area on the Somalia side of the border. The Kenyan security agents ranted and threatened to cross into Somalia to avenge the officers’ killing, but did not.
In another attack later, Somalia militiamen in three vehicles raided the Dedajabulla administration police camp, about 20km from the border, and rescued two terror suspects who had been arrested by police. They injured a police officer and made awy with a police vehicle and three guns after overpowering Kenyan security forces.
On several occasions, the military and both regular and administration police have been deployed in Mandera to counter acts of aggression by the insurgents. The militiamen then were suspected to be members of the al -Shabaab group that has taken over control of most of Somalia, including the Gedo region that straddles the border.
Sources privy to a joint police military operation in Mandera said the operation was sanctioned following intelligence reports of al-Shabaab’s involvement in the attacks.