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Kenyan Security Minister Joseph Nkaissery dies in Nairobi

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The CS died at Karen Hospital on Saturday morning after being admitted for check up, according to State House.

“It is with deep sorrow and shock that we announce the sudden passing on of Interior CS Retired General Joseph Nkaissery,” said Joseph Kinyua, the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service who issued a statement.

“He passed on after being admitted for a check-up,” he added, “The country to be updated as more information becomes available.”

There were no immediate details on the cause of his death.

His last public function was on Friday when he accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta to Uhuru Park for Saba Saba prayers before holding a series of meetings at his Harambee House office, according to officials privy to his itinerary.

Several Cabinet Secretaries and other top government officials were among those who rushed to the Karen Hospital soon after the announcement—including Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and CID boss Ndegwa Muhoro.

“It is unfortunate that we have lost the CS,” Muhoro told Capital FM News on telephone, “our prayers are with his family.”
Nkaissery’s death, coming exactly a month to the General Election set for August 8, is a big blow to the nation due to the critical role he was playing in strategizing with top security chiefs to ensure a peaceful election.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said, “It is very sad indeed, the CS is dead.”
Nkaissery was a Member of Parliament until 2014 when he resigned to take up President Uhuru Kenyatta’s appointment as Interior Cabinet Secretary to replace Joseph Ole Lenku who was unceremoniously dismissed in the wake of increased insecurity in the country.

He joined politics in 2002 when he retired from the military at the rank of Major General, having served for 29 years.

He was then elected Member of Parliament in 2007, and was later appointed Assistant Minister for Internal Security by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2008-2013.

He was elected to Parliament on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), before he fell out with the party leader Raila Odinga, when he joined President Kenyatta’s government.

KENYA

Bring Kenyan troops home from Somalia

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On January 15, 2016, Kenyans reacted with anger and horror at the news that Al-Shabaab militants had attacked Kenyan troops at a military outpost in El Adde, southern Somalia.

The attackers claimed to have killed dozens of soldiers and captured scores of others, including their commander. To date, the Kenyan military has not released details of the attack, although some reports put the death toll at 100.

The El Adde attack raised serious questions about Kenya’s efforts in Somalia. Why is the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) still in Somalia? What are they trying to accomplish? Why was the outpost vulnerable? When will the troops come home?

The KDF first entered Somalia in 2011 on “Operation Linda Nchi”, aimed at securing the northeastern border with the Horn of Africa nation following a series of attacks on tourists and aid workers.

Until El Adde, things were going well for Kenya, with little violence. The KDF captured Kismayu port, a source of income for Al-Shabaab from charcoal trade and sugar smuggling into Kenya. Ironically, a United Nations report said the KDF was also involved in the illicit trade.

POLITICAL INFIGHTING

But the cost of Kenyan and Amisom efforts is staggering, with a heavy toll of African troops and Somali civilians. Although Amisom has kept a tight lid on its casualties, more than 4,000 soldiers are said to have been killed and thousands more wounded, making it the deadliest peacekeeping mission.

Due to lack of political progress on the ground, even the United States’ counter-terrorism efforts, billions of dollars in foreign aid and 28,000 AU soldiers from 11 countries are unable to impose order in Somalia. The Mogadishu central government is mired in political infighting over the spoils of foreign aid, factions and corruption.

The president of Somalia is holed up in a hilltop palace in the capital city — where a tenuous government exists that is unable to protect its people, administer justice and deliver basic services.

Al-Shabaab also exploits discontent among marginalised clans in the Shabelle River valley, who believe the US-trained, Al-Shabaab-infested, corrupt, one-clan-dominated Somali National Army (SNA) is using the fight against the Al-Shabaab to grab their fertile land. Although they don’t share the militants’ extremist ideology, they see them as defending their lands from State-backed clan militias.

CLAN MILITIA

But southern Somalia’s problems are not limited to Al-Shabaab. There is also small arms in the hands of clan militias and the second-generation of merchants of corruption and violence.

Moreover, the heavy-handed foreign meddling, including self-interested neighbours, impedes creation of a functioning, stable government. In fact, the 2006 US-backed Ethiopian incursion into southern Somalia midwifed the Al-Shabaab.

Then-President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga may have started the Somalia military mission on the wrong foot but President Uhuru Kenyatta has the opportunity to end it well. After all the Kenyan troops are accounted for, he should withdraw the KDF from Somalia in an orderly manner.

ATTACKS

The policy on Somalia is neither protecting the homeland nor serving Kenya’s interest. In fact, it has made border counties more vulnerable to attacks.

There is no compelling reason worth risking more Kenyan lives or treasure in Somalia’s clan-driven terrorism or dictating the political outcomes in the war-torn neighbouring country. It’s time to bring Kenyan troops home and let the Somali fight for their own country and destiny.

Mr Mohamed is founder and editor, Gubanmedia.com, a 24/7 online magazine of news analysis and commentary on the greater Horn of Africa region. aliadm18@gmail.com.

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Kenya stands with AU on Trump’s ‘extremely upsetting’ remarks

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Kenya has joined the African Union in demanding an apology from Donald Trump following reports that he termed some countries shitholes.

The AU said the US president should withdraw the remarks and apologise to Africans. The union noted a “huge misunderstanding” of the African continent and its people by the current administration.

Trump denied that he used this language while discussing immigrants from Haiti and African nations.

Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe issued a statement on Thursday following reports that he said Kenya did not have a problem with the US leader’s alleged remarks.

“Of course we align ourselves with the positions expressed by the AU but we are studying the context to see whether it is worth the attention the media has been giving it.”

Kiraithe said the remarks were “extremely upsetting” but noted that it was not an official matter.
“It was not an official matter directly related to our relationship between Kenya and America. We enjoy very cordial relationship with the government of America.”

Earlier, former US Ambassadors to African countries wrote to Trump expressing their anger over the remarks.

The 48 ambassadors asked him to reassess his views on Africa and it’s citizens, and recognise the important contributions Africans and African Americans have made and continue to make to the United States’ history.

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Five al Shabaab abductees on police radar after escaping from Somalia

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Security agencies are hunting for five al Shabaab abductees who escaped from cells in Somalia.

Sources within the security circles said the five were due to be executed by the militants for communicating with al Shabaab fugitive Ahmed Iman Ali.

They suspect the five have sneaked into the country to seek refuge from the terror group.

Ali, who was a vocal Al Shabaab propagandist, fell out with the leadership of the terror group in mid last year.

This was after several Kenyans were executed allegedly for over spying and leaking information to Ali and the Kenyan government.

Ali was against the executions as it targeted mostly Kenyan fighters, most of which he was responsible for their recruitment.

Read: Residents desert border village after al Shabaab attack, put up flag

The five militants, who are originally from Lamu and Malindi, are said to have been taken into custody towards the end of last year.

Reports indicated that Ali is seeking asylum from the government amid several attempts by al Shabaab to kill him.

Animosity and hatred has been rife within al Shabaab with intelligence reports indicating that Kenyans in the group are the most affected.

At stake is that local Somali fighters, who consider Kenyans as moles for the security agents, have isolated the Kenyan foreign fighters.

Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to try to topple Somalia’s central government and rule the Horn of Africa country in line with their interpretation of Islamic Law.

The terror group has in the past publicly executed Kenyans who they accuse of collaborating with the Kenyan troops.

Those killed in the last one year include former Moi University student Jared Mokaya Omambia, Faraj Abdulmajid, Ahmed Yusuf Hassan, Ahmed Nur Abdi Osoble, Abdullah Talal Musa, Hashim Othman Selali among many others.

The mistrust between the native Al Shabaab Somali fighters and other foreign fighters has also seen the eruption of several splinter factions emerging from the group.

The indigenous Somalis are in support of the establishment of ‘Somali only’ Al Shabaab group while foreign fighters have threatened to join a splinter group pledging their allegiance to the Islamic State.

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