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Kenya

Yearbook 2011

Kenya. On October 16, the Kenyan army invaded neighboring Somalia with a few thousand soldiers and air support to drive the Islamist militia al-Shabab out of the border area. Earlier in the month, a disabled French woman had first been removed from her home in the tourist resort of Lamu, near the border, and shortly thereafter a British tourist after the kidnappers shot her husband. Both were brought into Somalia, where the French woman was later said to have died, probably as a result of her being left without her medication. A few days later, two Spanish doctors, employed by MSF, were robbed of the gigantic refugee camp Dadaab near the Somali border.

2011 Kenya

According to Countryaah official site, the kidnappings led to a stream of cancellations to the hotels in the area. As tourism accounts for 10% of Kenya's GDP, continued concern in the border regions would be a severe blow to the country's economy.

The soldiers advanced far into Somalia and were reported to have suffered several times with al-Shabab units. There was conflicting information as to whether the Somali government and the army were cooperating with the Kenyans. It was speculated that Kenya had ambitions to "purge" southern Somalia from Islamists and then set up a puppet regime in a self-governing area called Jubaland. Kenyan air strikes against the port city of Kismayu hinted at plans to try to take away from al-Shabab its economic lifeblood. According to the Kenyan government, Israel offered its support in the fight against the Islamist militia.

Earlier in the year, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague had sent summonses to the six high-ranking Kenyans charged with crimes against humanity in connection with the riots following the 2007 presidential election. The government appealed to the UN Security Council and directly to the ICC to close the cases but received rejection from both directions. All of them then appealed to the court where preparatory negotiations were held during the fall.

One of the accused at the ICC, William Ruto, was dismissed in August as Minister of Education. He was already suspended after being designated in a bribe.

In June, Kenya's first supreme court was inaugurated, a judicial body created by the new constitution adopted in 2010 in the efforts to create reconciliation after the riots. The Supreme Court is empowered to review disputes over presidential elections.

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