Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi and entered into Somalia on the 14th October 2011. The purpose of this operation was to degrade the Al Qaeda – affiliated Al-Shabab Islamist group in Somalia who were posing a security challenge in Kenya, hence threatening Kenya’s security and economic interest.
This decision was reached at after a series of incidents of boarder attacks and incursions by the militia group along the common border with Somalia where, Kenyan AID workers in Dadaab, a couple in Kiwayu Safari villages in Lamu and abduction of a French tourist lady were witnessed.
In light of continued threats, to the Republic, the Government of Kenya invoked article 51 of the UN Chatter in order to secure the right to self defence from these unwarranted attacks by the militia group.
After few months, the troops from Kenya were later formally integrated into AMISOM on February 22, 2012 after the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2036.
One month later the Government of Kenya agreed to re-hat its forces under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The troops liberated more than twenty towns deep into Somalia’s territory including Afmadow and the militia’s strategic Coastal City of Kismayo which were the main stronghold not only for attacks but also for contraband goods making their way into Kenya.
The Battle of Kismayo was an offensive led by the Kenya Defence Forces, under the codename Operation Sledge Hammer, to seize the port city from Al-Shabaab on the 28 September 2012. The Kenyan naval, air and ground forces launched a surprise attack on Kismayo, capturing the city with little resistance mounted by Al-Shabaab.
During the overnight attack that took place at 2:00 am EAT, Kenyan Defence Forces troops used a beach landing approximately six kilometres North of Kismayo, close to the main road to Mogadishu to start the assault and claimed victory over final militant stronghold. The attack and the final liberation of the port city dealt a fatal blow to the rebels.
AMISOM’s Sector 2, which has its headquarters in the Port City of Kismayo, comprises Lower and Middle Juba. Currently Kenya has 3,664 troops within its area of responsibility in AMISOM .