Al Shabaab issued a warning to Kenya’s new president, William Ruto, through a statement issued on August 27 by the Al Katib Media Foundation, near to the Somali jihadist organization. The document, titled “Kenya at the Crossroads,” calls on the government in Nairobi to change its policy of intervention in Somalia, which began 11 years ago, threatening retaliation and new attacks if the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) military contingent is not withdrawn from the south of the country (https://www.voanews.com/a/6719911.html).
The Somali Islamists’ communiqué alleges that the administration of outgoing President Kenyatta has been silent at home about the huge losses suffered by the contingent and the overall failure of the mission, as well as the increase in attacks in Kenyan territory, especially in the northeastern areas of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa.
Kenya’s military forces are also accused by al Shabaab of perpetuating violence on the civilian population, while particular attention has been shown to the ongoing political dynamics in the country, and especially on the electoral dispute that will see the Supreme Court rule on September 5 on the voting challenges voiced by Raila Odinga. According to al Shabaab, William Ruto will be declared president, and the jihadist group has said it will carefully assess the future president’s attitude regarding the issues affecting the military mission in Somalia within ATMIS (https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/al-shabaab-calls-on-ruto-to-change-kenya-s-policy-towards-somalia).
Should Ruto fail to order a total review of Kenya’s engagement in Somalia, the statement added, al Shabaab will return to strike deep Kenyan territory and against KDF forces.