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Was Kenya right to enter Somalia?

Africa HYS team | 12:19 UK time, Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Kenyan troops are continuing their advance into Somalia in an effort to push al- Shabab militants away from its border. 

Kenyan security forces near the border with Somalia (AFP)

This comes after the kidnapping of several foreign nationals which Kenya blames on the Islamic insurgent group.

The hard-line group, which controls much of southern Somalia, has denied carrying out any abductions, and has warned of attacks in Kenya unless the troops withdraw.

Is Kenya right to pursue al-Shabab in Somalia? Should Kenya have tackled the attacks by Al Shabaab differently? Do other African governments support or oppose Kenya's actions?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 18 October at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.


  • Comment number 1.

    I think it is perfectly fine for Kenya to pursue the militia into Somalia. Tourism accounts for a high percentage of national revenue, it is the Kenyan livelihood and fear from harm at stake. They should defend themselves at any cost, they cannot allow Somalia's internal problems to be their own.

  • Comment number 2.

    Kenya has got all rights to defend it's border from kidnappers across the border. I am surprised that USA and UK are not helping them.

  • Comment number 3.

    Kenya was as right to enter Somalia after al-Shabab as the USA was to enter Pakistan after Osama bin Laden.

  • Comment number 4.

    Somalia is a lawless country and the Kenyans have alright to do what they must need to get those people back as no one "in power" in Somalia will be able to help them.

  • Comment number 5.

    East and Central African governments (apart from Uganda) have been slow to recognise the danger of letting Somalia descend into chaos. As we saw in Liberia/Sierra Leone and the DRC/Rwanda, ignoring political turmoil in neighbouring countries is no longer viable. They soon spill over borders. Sub-Saharan Africa, like Europe has done, need to develop cross-country regional forces to keep the peace.

  • Comment number 6.

    The Kenyan decision to pursue al-shabab is the right decision, though taken late. Terror groups like al-shabab have no room for negotiations. This action on the part of Kenya was no option at all. Other African governments have not come out clearly on the issue. They need to come off the fence and make a position on the matter.

  • Comment number 7.

    Who sent them there? Or have they become the bully for that zone? everybody wants to interfer with anybodies affairs

  • Comment number 8.

    Yes. Al Shabaab has started treating Kenya as a hunting ground for it's recruits & ransom victims. Not to mention what the rampant lawlessness in Somalia is costing Kenya through piracy and lost tourism dollars.
    It's high time we stopped them. I just hope the military is well prepared as al Shabaab is a very formidable enemy.

  • Comment number 9.

    I believe that this is not the right thing to do completely, I think the Kenyan government should tighten security on the Kenyan side of the border, instead of crossing into Somalia. The last thing us Kenyans need to worry about is an attack on our home soil in Nairobi and other parts of the country.

  • Comment number 10.

    Absolutely yes, infact it is long overdue. Kenya has enough support. The innocent women and children are counting on the Somalia TFG, kenya and their allies to crush this manace once and for all. In my view they should not leave their until the job is done.

  • Comment number 11.

    Since AU is non functional, there is no right or wrong in Africa, when it come to human life. Every thing must go to save human lives, the institutions are so weak they are almost non existence

  • Comment number 12.

    kenya is justified to attack the tyrans who thinks they own the world.why don't they fight like men istead of hiding in the bush.let them get out of the bush and go to school so they can know they are ruining there country instead of developing their country.

  • Comment number 13.

    Yes. They have every right and I hope they do a good Job

  • Comment number 14.

    Of course Kenya have the right. The Somalia Government is clearly not in control. Its a lwless nation and Kenyan has a right to defend themselves, retrespectively or pre-emptively.

  • Comment number 15.

    For a long time, we have been threatened by these terrorists, yes Kenya did well to go and get them, about time.

  • Comment number 16.

    First of all, this should not be a debate, Turkey is in Nothern Iraq pursuing Kurds, Israel occasionally go in and out of the west bank with drones, the US is in Afghanistan and Iraq and NATO is in Egypt, Kenyans have a right to defend their territorial integrity, actually, they waited far too long. Now, what was the question again?

  • Comment number 17.

    This is a case of damned if you do and damned if you do not. Al Shabab has threatened Kenya before, even when we were taking no action against them. As the Kiswahili saying goes, if you do not seal a crack, you will build a wall. What we need now is action by AU and the rest of the world to take sustainable action to restore order in Somalia.

  • Comment number 18.

    The lawlessness in Somilia has to be addressed. The UN is the correct entity to do this but most likely it will not be addressed by them. Innocent people have to be protected. Solution? I am neither a diplomat nor a military strategist but a group (we don't want to use "coallition" do we) of nations have to step up and do whatever is necessary to remove this threat.

  • Comment number 19.

    Any country has the right to protect it's people anywhere any time.If Somalia is not capable of stoping these gun carrying rascals and killers so call Al Shabaab may be they can get a little help from Kenya.

  • Comment number 20.

    If Israel can enter Lebanon and the US can send drones to violate other countries sovereignty, then YES Kenya has the right to enter Somalia.

  • Comment number 21.

    I think it is necessary for peaceful negotiation between the two countries to identify means in tracking down those kidnappers and intruders rather than crossing over. in my mind I see this action leading to war between the both countries but I hope that should not be the remedy

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    Kenya has every right to enter Somalia. Afterall, it has reached a stage where the activities of Al Shebab is affecting Kenyan tourist industry which is critical to the countries economy. Not to mention the various Somali fuctions who use Kenya as their hub both for their existance and political disfunctions. The whole Somali affair is affecting the geopolitics of East Africa.

  • Comment number 24.

    Kenya has 100% rites to cross in to Somalia to protect it citizen and visitors after been provoked by militants from accross the border. When russia felt provoked by Geogia, they cross the border, when Isreal is provoked by it neiboughs at any time, they cross borders so kenya has all the rites in the book.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    The Kenyans are right to moved in on Somalia soil.Matter of fact they should've done so long time ago.

  • Comment number 27.

    Kenya has no resources to sustain this kind of operation. Ethiopia was in Somalia the other day. So what will happen when the Kenyan forces withdraw? Enhanced hatred from Al Shabaab, exposure to terrorist activities from Al Shabaab operatives who have a warm sactuary in Easleigh.

  • Comment number 28.

    Kenya is right to go into Somalia.Matter of fact, it is not only a Kenyan issue any more. It disrupts the people of Uganda, Western Congo, Rwanda and South Sudan who so much depend on the Port of Mombasa and on the security of Kenya....the East African countries should look into contributing armies if this is what it takes to get the peace.

  • Comment number 29.

    Al-Shabab is not an established government rather a group of hooligans, bandies, pirates and killers. Al-Shabab continues to destroy their country. Nobody supports them. Kenya has every right to go after them.


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