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Exit Museveni’s Mijingo, enter the Al-Shabaab

By | June 29th 2009

By Ibrahim Ndamwe

As fellow writer Ted Malanda would say, life is indeed a circus. Barely two weeks ago, Museveni was the devil incarnate. Kenyans, including yours truly, were hell-bent on grabbing the nearest knobkerrie and marching to Kampala for the mother of all battles. Reason being that Museveni had expressed intentions to seize Migingo Island for the purpose of grazing his Ankole cattle.

Even Muslim leaders issued a statement in solidarity with our brothers in Migingo. So hot was the brouhaha that even our circumspect President felt constrained to issue a statement saying Kenya was not some pumbavu republic that any snooty little country could invade without facing severe reprisals from our military forces.

But while we were creating that storm in a teacup, Somalia was brewing a typhoon and their Al-Shabaab militia was girding its loins in readiness for attack. Their grouse? Kenya should stop interfering in the internal matters of Somalia.

Influx of refugees

Their ire was based on two facts: One, Kenya had finally deployed military forces along its common border with Somalia, something we should have done a decade ago. Second, our Prime Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister had snarled that Kenya’s army would not drink cheap beer in the barracks while Somali went to seed. No, the army would move in and restore order, they swore.

Never mind that Government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua was quoted the next day on the BBC saying Kenya had no intention whatsoever of sending its army to Somalia to interfere in the internal affairs of that godforsaken place.

Nonetheless, the Al-Shabaab might wish to take cognizance of two things. One, Kenya has no choice but to interfere because their shenanigans are interfering with our internal affairs. It has, for instance, escaped their scholarly notice that while they are busy throwing hand grenades all over the place and amputating the limbs of petty robbers, their citizens have been crossing the border in droves to Kenya.

Just who the hell do they think is taking care of their citizens who are fleeing the war? If they bothered to read the news, which I doubt they have any time for with all those gun battles going on, they would have discovered that millions of Kenyans plus our own internally displaced refugees are starving.

Second, we really can’t be said to be interfering in the internal matters of Somalia because there is nothing internal about Somalia. In fact, Somalia doesn’t exist beyond the map.

Petty assumptions

Unfortunately, for all the time they have been left to sort themselves out internally, they have been making asinine attempts at sewing their country back into one piece using hand grenades.

The funniest bit, however, is their assumption that we will let them be because they have threatened to flatten Nairobi’s tall buildings in cowardly suicide attacks. But they forget that while Kenyans wanted to fight Uganda over tiny Migingo, they want an entire province.

They forget also that we felt nothing when our women and children were raped and killed in 2008. Do they imagine we love Nairobi’s tall buildings more?

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