A Contradição Somali do Quénia

NAIROBI – O ataque que matou mais de 70 pessoas no centro comercial Westgate em Nairobi na semana passada foi, de acordo com o al-Shabaab, o grupo militante Islâmico Somali que o perpetrou, uma retribuição pela intervenção do Quénia na Somália. Isso levanta uma dúvida simples: O que está o Quénia a fazer na Somália, e será que vale a pena?

Desde que o exército do Quénia invadiu há dois anos o seu vizinho do nordeste, o governo tem dito aos Quenianos que iriam para a guerra contra o al-Shabaab. Mas, tal como a maior parte das posições oficiais no Quénia, essa história era apenas parcialmente verdadeira.

Na noite de 15 de Outubro de 2011, eu estava deitado e a ouvir os comboios militares Quenianos que passavam pela cidade fronteiriça de Dadaab na direcção da Somália, para lançar a primeira campanha militar no exterior na história do Quénia. A causa imediata para tal fora o rapto de dois assistentes humanitários Espanhóis dos vastos campos de refugiados que rodeiam Dadaab. Para as autoridades Quenianas, essa foi a última gota depois de uma série de raptos de Ocidentais pelo al-Shabaab; para acabar com as incursões, lançaram o que os líderes militares acreditavam ser uma campanha rápida.

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