The deployment of the Kenya Defence Forces to Somalia to wage a “lost” war against al Shabaab was the biggest security blunder Kenya made, a human rights group has said.
Muslims for Human Rights on Monday in Mombasa said the incursion has made Northeastern terror-prone.
It is on the verge of being destabilised by the radical Islamist movement, Muhuri executive director Hassan Abdille said.
Low-intensity guerrilla war waged by al Shabaab in the region is also looming, he added.
“Other areas behind Kenyan lines risk the same,” Abdille said.
Northeastern borders Somalia which is the main operational zone for al Shabaab, an al Qaeda- and ISIS-linked group.
Abdille said continuous attacks in Northeastern are a strategy by al Shabaab to outflank KDF in Somalia.
Evidence from the International Crisis Group report in February 2012 confirms this, he said.
Kenya sent its troops into Somalia in October 2011 for a peacekeeping mission, which Muhuri says was not justified.
“The government is unlikely to heed any calls for a troop pullout. It has invested too much and pride is at stake,” Abdille said.
The executive director said al Shabaab has been trying to make a pan-Somali appeal without succeeding, though their effort is evident.
“The [KDF] intervention taps deep-seated Kenyan fears of Somali encroachment and corresponding Somali qualms that Kenya seeks to assert control over territory that was once part of colonial Kenya,” he said.
Abdille condoled with the families of soldiers killed on Friday during a deadly attack on KDF and Amisom camps in El-Adde.
He cautioned the government against neglecting the families of the fallen soldiers.
“We want their families to be well compensated,” Abdille said.
He urged the international community to work with the Somalia government to monitor volatile areas.