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.
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
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.