Friday, October 21, 2011

While you might have been watching

While you might have been watching things about the latest twists and turns in Libya (and *yes*, while I like my coffee as-intended I do prefer my Libya de-Qaddafinated), there is another story out there that hasn't been getting the 24/7 media treatment the last couple of days like the End of Moammar has been getting:

Are you aware that Kenya has had quite enough of al-Shabaab and related Somali thuggery raiding the Dadaab refugee camp, kidnapping aid workers and snatching tourists off the Kenyan coastal islands, and generally fomenting mayhem in and against Kenya?

The Kenyan armed forces are now *in* the Trans-Juba region of southern Somalia, and itching for a fight. Back at home, Kenyan internal security services are to root-out the al-Shabaab operations in Nairobi.

This is the largest intervention in Somalia since the Ethiopian military pulled out of (most of) Somalia after their intervention... which crushed the Islamic Courts movement and did give the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia a little breathing room, but then took their eyes off the prize as the remnants of the Islamic Courts and their al-Qaeda affiliates reformed as al-Shabaab...

Here's hoping that the Kenyan forces chose a manageable portion of goals to achieve, and get busy on achieving them. It does look like their plans are of limited scope and do-able from a capacity point of view, but it remains to be seen when al-Shabaab chooses to stand and fight (perhaps at the town of Afmadow) how well the Kenyan forces will hold together.

A supposedly unrelated move in Mogadishu by the African Union (AU) force there to clear the last southern district of the city of al-Shabaab troops has gone off on schedule and on objective, but reports of heavy AU casualties are circulating. Even discounting any claims by al-Shabaab (which *will* be ludicrously overstated), it may well have been a rough go for the AU forces.

Since you likely won't see much about this on the network news, here is the go-to link for Africa news if you'd prefer more than what the BBC has offered. Specifically, here are the links to Kenya news and Somalia news. Caveat: You'd best know something about the newspapers cited to know any biases. I can only recommend that you do a little Wiki-searching or Source-Watching to see what repute any given paper is generally held in. No time to be teaching a class on East African mass media right now; my regrets.

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