Kenyan Efforts to Help Stabilize Somalia
On October 16, 2011, Kenya launched “Operation Linda Nchi,” a military operation conducted in coordination with the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to weaken and incapacitate the brutal Al Qaeda- linked terrorist group, Al Shabaab. The ultimate goal of the military operation was to give the Somali government the ability to assume control of the country, and end two decades of instability that made it a safe haven for extremism, endangering the region, as well as the international community.
To view a brief timeline of key moments since the launch of Kenya's assault on Al Shabaab, which has helped deliver remarkable progress to a nation working to rebuild itself after decades of turmoil and strife, click here.
Somalia as a Failed State
Somalia has been plagued by violence and instability since the collapse of its central government in 1991, making it the first completely failed state of the modern era. Their Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was established to provide the country with a new constitution and the means to have legitimate elections in 2009, which resulted in Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s election as president.
Kenya Facilitates Peace Efforts for Somalia
- As a stable political neighbor, Kenya has served as the peace-making facilitator for the Somali transitional state for the last two decades.
- In early 2002, Kenya organized a reconciliation effort under the Inter Government Authority on Development (IGAD) auspices known as the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference.
- In August 2004, Nairobi hosted the Somali Transitional Federal Assembly (TFA) as part of the IGAD-led process. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was elected Transitional Federal President of Somalia on October 10, 2004 and Ali Mohamed Gedi was approved by the Transitional Federal Assembly as Prime Minister on December 24, 2004 as part of the continued formation of a Transitional Federal Government (TFG).
Kenya Provides a Home for Somali Refugees
- Throughout the two decades since the collapse of the Somali government, Kenya has provided temporary homes for tens of thousands of Somali refugees during their transition to other countries of refuge such as the U.S., Canada and many EU nations.
- Dadaab, in eastern Kenya, is home to an estimated 279,000 refugees – mainly Somali refugees – triple its designated capacity.
- Somalis are arriving at an average rate of 6,400 a month.
- Kenya’s Dagahaley and Hagadera camps together comprise the largest refugee sites in the world.
- Kenya’s attempt to close the Somali-Kenyan border in January 2000 did little to stem the tide. About 7,000 Somali refugees came into the country every month during 2007.
- Today, Kenya is home to more than 260,000 Somali refugees. In 2008 alone, some 62,000 new Somali refugees arrived in Kenya.
- The civil warfare and social instability in Somalia have prompted the flight of more than 50,000 refugees to neighboring Kenya this year alone.
- Warehouses for Somalia food aid are maintained inside Kenya rather than Somalia because of better security situation.