Kenya at War in Somalia

by Ed Colina on October 24, 2011

Well, a lot has happened in the last week. Kenya has gone after al Shabaab, invading (sort of) Somalia to flush out this al quaeda affiliate. It is a big chunk to bite off, knowing that these shabaab guys are into revenge, kidnapping, retaliation and blowing things up. They did that in Uganda during the World Cup, punishing the country for involving itself in Somalia by blowing up a bar of soccer fans. Very quickly, the US Embassy in Kenya issued a warning for US citizens in Kenya.

‚ÄúThis is to inform U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Kenya that the U.S. Embassy in Kenya has received credible information of an imminent threat of terrorist attacks directed at prominent Kenyan facilities and areas where foreigners are known to congregate, such as malls and night clubs.”

Mwololo discourages me from heading into town to do the work we planned so I went to Kiserian with Fred for beadwork but did not go into Nairobi as the usual route. Last night there was a grenade lobbed into a poor bar near the railway station where I catch a bus home but it has not been confirmed to be from Al Shabaab. Needless to say, people working in town are a little jittery and there are sweeps of Somali areas looking for sympathizers. That creates problems since the police are ruthless and have problems with Somalis in the first place. Many of these Somalis came here to escape al Shabaab.

Tomorrow Mwololo and I meet with the principal of St. Timothy Academy. That is right down the street and no problem. The following days, it gets a little more difficult to avoid Nairobi. We will see what happens. There are police and soldiers everywhere and a number of roadblocks and checkpoints on the main roads. My friend Benson is on a college trip to Kisii for a few days, traveling in a bus with UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY written on the side. That kind of advertising is a bit scary.

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