8 August 2017

Kenya: Lobby in Court Seeking KDF Withdrawal From Somalia

A lobby wants the Kenyan troops withdrawn from Somalia.

To this effect, the Women Empowerment Kenya filed a case under certificate of urgency before the High Court in Milimani on Monday.

However, Justice George Odunga said he did not see any urgency in the matter. Judges are currently on recess until September 15.

The women led by Ms Truphena Moraa, argue that many Kenyans have died and "we continue to lose lives, because of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) presence in Somalia."

She wants the court to issue an order directing the Ministry of Defence to withdraw KDF from Somalia.

Kenyan soldiers entered Somalia on November 16, 2011, in a move dubbed "Operation Linda Nchi."

ROBUST MEASURES

According to Ms Moraa, the explanation given by the government as to why it entered Somalia, was not justified.

In entering the then lawless Somalia, Kenya announced that it was taking robust measures to protect and preserve the integrity of the country, by invoking Article 51 of the UN Charter.

However, Ms Moraa says the operation resulted in retaliatory attacks by Al-Shabaab, leading to loss of lives and property.

She accuses the Attorney-General of failing to give the government proper legal advice on the legality of KDF's operation in Somalia.

"The Ministry (of Defence) overstepped its mandate to a foreign territory without proper justification," reads an affidavit she had filed.

PROPER INTELLIGENCE

Ms Moraa alleged that Kenya did not conduct proper intelligence on the extent of the threats posed by Al-Shabaab and how to neutralise them.

She argued that KDF entered a foreign territory in contravention of International Law and Order.

The lobbyist argues that the frequent attacks on Kenya by the militants is because of the presence of KDF, yet Somalia shares borders with other countries.

Ms Moraa added that the troops should focus on securing the borders against external threats.

She said her organisation has been trying to engage the government since 2015 to pull out from Somalia, without success.

The case will be heard on September 20.

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