December 10, 2013 at 5:12am
opinionHowever poor we are, we must not be in Somalia fighting terrorism as someone else’s proxy for money. Already, we have been told that European Union pays the Kenyan army Sh500 million every month to fight terrorism in Somalia.During the Westgate terrorist attack on September 21, the al Shabaab announced that if Kenya were to pull its army out of Somalia, their terrorists attacks would cease.On October 1, President Kenyatta answered them: “We went there to help them bring order in their own nation. Put your house in order and we will pull out,” he concluded. So should we, or should we not pull out of Somalia to be safe from the attacks of the al Shabaab?When President Kibaki sent our army into Somalia, it was without debate, consultation with the public or national consensus. Used to being ruled by dictatorial decrees and edicts, Kenyans accepted the decision and moved on. But their silence would have consequences when aL Shabaab started hitting targets inside Kenya.After Westgate, Kenyans should think twice before they ignore or accept their leaders’ decisions on making war against other countries or certain groups inside Kenya. They must realize that disinterest in public affairs and national problems, is like the proverbial rat trap that catches both targets and non targets.When the president said the war against Somalia would continue, I remembered President Kibaki did not seek people’s mandate before sending our soldiers to Somalia. I also wondered who gave mandate to President Uhuru to continue the war against Somalia – Kenyans, Somalis or just himself. Even America and UK have sought mandate from their people to make war on Syria.I also think President Uhuru’s statement was very paternalistic to Somalis. Supposing it was Somalian, Ugandan or Ethiopian President who said their country’s army would stay in Kenya until we put our house in order? Would we not consider this a violation of our sovereignty and vow to fight in its defense?President Uhuru’s statement was also suspect of illogical. If your neighbours fight and beat their wives and children, you will take the wives and children in if they run to you for refuge.But however much neighbours fight you don’t grab a panga and take over their bomas and houses, swearing to run them until they put their houses in order.