Kenyan Hegemony: Ambitions without Borders
With already a long list of gross violations against the Somali people, it seems that the Kenyan Government has yet to deviate from its path of oppression as it persists in its ambitious endeavour to erect a wall near the disputed Kenyan Somali border.
Under the guise of the never ending pretext of combating terrorism, Kenya has once again recklessly disregarded the sovereignty of its ill fated neighbour as it continues its encroachment onto Somali soil demanding the destruction of houses and the displacement of Somali citizens in the process.
Such displays of hegemony and arrogance although confronted with little or no criticism from the Federal Government and international community has nonetheless, sparked wide outrage and resistance on part of the local Somali population.
From Mogadishu to Gedo and beyond, local residents, clan elders and other prominent figures have all voiced their concerns and have united in their condemnation of what they believe is a Kenyan attempt to rewrite the Somali map and annex further territory.
“We will not relinquish even a hand span of our land”, were some of the phrases chanted in demonstrations that took place in Beled Hawo on Friday as local residents took to the streets in a show of defiance against Kenya’s recent expansionist operations in Southern Somalia. With past territorial grievances ripe in the minds of the Somali people, Kenya’s aspirations of erecting a wall along the border region has further agitated unhealed wounds of nationalism and has reminded Somalis of the post colonial atrocities committed by the Kenyan Government and the historical role it played in dividing and occupying Somalia.
On local radio some elders went even as far as calling for the liberation of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and other parts of the Northern Frontier District whilst fervently making mention of uniting all Somali regions under one state; the dream of Greater Somalia.
To be fair however all the anger should not be cast solely on the Kenyan Government, for as the saying goes; if a home has no door, it is bound to be robbed, and unfortunately the Government of Somalia has failed to be the door of the country and subsequently it has turned into a haven for all sort of power hungry nations and opportunists.
At a time when Somalis are already frustrated with the approval of Kenyan Defence Forces in their country and the reoccurring debate over maritime borders, they now have to deal with the illegal erection of a wall on their soil while their Government ineptly watches on.
Territorial disputes and border conflicts are one of the prime factors of war across the world with countries preferring the loss of life to the loss of land. The Somali Government on the other hand seems to be bereft of such nationalistic sentiments as it sit backs in a state of dormancy while the integrity of Somalia and the dignity of Somalis are being infringed upon.
Nevertheless, Kenya, like any other nation, surely reserves the right to heighten its national security and take the proper measures needed to prevent the flow of terrorism into their country.
While invoking this right however, it is imperative that Kenya respect the sovereignty of its neighbours and beware of being duped by the compliance and ineptitude of the Somali Government and thinking that their silence is representative of the Somali people.
Whether or not a wall will actually prevent further attacks in Kenya is another contentious matter all together, but one thing for sure is that Kenya’s rash decisions in Somalia might counter productively be just the catalytic element needed to unify Somalis and rekindle the flame of pan-nationalism which Kenya has always feared.
By Dr. Mustafa Haji Adan