What Threat does the Cushitic Alliance Pose for Kenya?
This is an excerpt of a post published in Geopolitics Press.
PHOTO CREDIT: Nairobi Star.
In a talk show broadcast on March 4, 2020, by NTV Kenya, Rashid Abdi stated that Kenya faces a low-grade insurgency in its North-Eastern region where Al-Shabaab, which is now an Al-Qaeda affiliate, has focused its attacks on security personnel, with about 80% of casualties of terror attacks being these security officers. He also noted the AlShabaab’s targeted messaging now prioritized on liberating colonized land. The land in question covers the counties of Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa, which are now occupied predominantly by Somalis who immigrated into the region in the 19th Century and early 20th Century. Government officials have openly accused Somalis of working with Al-Shabaab, and there are serious concerns that Somalis are using al-Shabaab to expel non-Somalis from the 3 counties, and so far Kenya has failed to employ punitive counter-terrorism measures to combat Somali terrorism.
In the same talk show, Peter Kagwanja elaborated more on this insecurity issue by stating that it is characteristic of the Horn of Africa region. Kagwanja explained that Somali secessionism and terrorist insurgency can be traced back to the ruling government in Mogadishu. To drive the point home, he noted that the determinant of a peaceful or violent north eastern region is whether the Somalian government is friendly or hostile to Kenya. From 1963 to 1967, Somalia deliberately incited and financed a rebellion against Kenya in what is popularly known as the Shifta War, which ended in a military ceasefire between Kenya and Somalia that was signed in Arusha, Tanzania, by President Jomo Kenyatta and Prime Minister Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal.
Kagwanja stated that Kenya-Somalia relations have been good since 2004 until Abiy Ahmed came to power and formed the Cushitic Alliance, which has encouraged Farmaajo’s administration (with Eritrean backing) to plot to destabilize Kenya — not north-eastern Kenya, but Kenya as a nation. Kagwanja blames this Cushitic Alliance for the low-level insurgency being waged by Somali terrorists in Kenya, as well as Farmaajo’s plot to incite a war with Kenya. He also acknowledged that all senior Somali political officials have properties in Kenya, and take their children to Kenyan schools. This was meant to show that Kenya has leverage over Somali politicians. Even so, what is this Cushitic Alliance?