Kenya Army MD500 Defender helicopter hovers above a HMVV

Kenya Army MD500 Defender helicopter hovers above a HMVV

Kenya Air Force Mi-171e hovers near a HMVV

Kenya Air Force Mi-171e hovers near a HMVV

Kenya Defence Force personnel advance

Kenya Defence Force personnel advance


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. doziex says:

    A Picture speaks a thousand words.

    Some how the KDF managed to inherit and RETAIN british style military discipline. The one good thing most ex-british colonies have.
    However, in Nigeria, the army found a way to Dis inherit this legacy.

    • doziex says:

      @maina, I am merely referring to the colonial legacy the brits left all over the world. In some cases, nations keep this military tradition, in other cases, they try other models.

      The similarity in kenyan, indian, pakistani, jordanian military ethos, and traditions, comes from the common colonial lineage of these nations.

      The same can be said for francophone national armies and gendamerie.

  2. peccavi says:

    Kenyans got a very good rep in SL apparently, didn’t fight as much or as hard as Na obviously but apparently acquitted themselves very well

  3. beegeagle says:

    Yeah Peccavi, that was because ECOMOG, a West African venture which sufficed throughout the 1990s with Nigeria at the helm was a fighting “peace enforcement” force while the post-Lome Accord UNAMSIL to which Kenya, Zambia, India, Bangladesh belonged was a peacekeeping force concerned with Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration. The mandates were thus different.

    Be that as it may, they acquitted themselves creditably on UNAMSIL assignment. Ditto the Namibian PKO.

    Moving on, we have said that we need to IMMEDIATELY resuscitate our crated fleet of MBB 105s. From 24 units, if we are able to cannibalise some for spares and get 15-18 units airborne, it would not hurt us. The need for light observation helics armed with 20mm cannons and 68mm which are suited for HOT PURSUIT and RECCE cannot be overstated. Let us reactivate the MBB 105s as a first option while we wait for deliveries of Eurocopter AS 555 Fennec armed Little Birds.

    Sometimes we tarry too long on the planning phase and this is not rocket science. With the multiple streams of slush funds available to the FG, not everything has to be subjected to the rigours of budgetary processes. They need to circumvent professional file carriers at the ministries and focus on readjusting to emerging challenges. The turnaround shall come.

    As of 2009 and 2010, it looked increasingly likely that the Mexican FG would be toppled from power by narco-terrorists who were at that time more destructive than Boko Haram and controlled 40% of Mexican cities. Like Al-Shabaab, they hold on to territories which made it easier to confront them and the Mexican Army slowly turned the tide against them.

    The story of Sri Lanka was worse. Western analysts had written off the chances of Sri Lanka gaining a military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the contemporary world’s most notorious users of suicide bombings who either maimed or killed a President, generals and ministers alike. Nobody gave them a chance and the price which Sri Lanka paid, relative to that which we have paid at this time(one year after the insurgency as currently defined kicked off), seems like comparing an anthill to a mountain. With Sri Lanka, the usually flippant analysts predicted the impossibility of a miltary solution, deified the LTTE as a fighting force, propounded the myth of their invincibility and consistently churned out demoralising reports about the Sri Lankan military. Bound in self-belief, the Sri Lankans soldiered on and after 27 long years, achieved a conclusive military victory over the LTTE.

    These are yet early days for Nigeria and in conflicts such as this, the passage of time shapes all events – the building of comprehensive intel profiles, striking a rhythm on the battlefield, the acquisition of the mission-specific equipment, garnering experience and even, it takes time for the populace to conquer fear and begin to expose the villains – remember the RUF in Sieera Leone.

    We are going through a learning curve which is INEVITABLE. We can only quicken that process but not circumvent it. Our case is not helped by the fact that unlike Al Shabaab, RUF, LTTE and the Taliban, Boko Haram do not occupy or hold onto towns and villages which is what the JSTF probably would want to see so that they descend on the place. Boko Haram known this having tried and been pushed out of Panshekara, Kanamma and the Mandara Mts with rapidity by the Nigerian Army. It was that attempt at a frontal assault which led to the comprehensive defeat in 2009 and the destruction of the stronghold in Maiduguri. It is in realisation of the futility of engaging the Army frontally which has seen them mounting hit-and-run attacks.

    The FG need to stay the course, act decisively and do what is needful QUICKLY. Since 2010, President Sarkozy of France gave approval for the transfer of twelve units of Eurocopter AS-550 Fennec light helics, four patrol ships, thirty river gunboats and Panhard VBL scout cars.

    What are they waiting for before they get the damn things in, even with major anti-piracy and counterinsurgency operations in full swing?

  4. peccavi says:

    The difference is the LTTE actually had a genuine cause and a very very strong network, inside and outside Sri Lanka. I pray it doesnt take us 27 years to get beyond the Boko nonsense but we’ll see. the Nigeria Army needs to move beyond this kill and go mentality and start being a bit more clever with its COIN

  5. beegeagle says:

    The Tamil diaspora raised a lot of funds and materiel to support the LTTE.

    Few people appear to accept the fact that al-Shabaab similarly receive funds from the Somali diaspora. The Americans know that though and that is probably why the principal funds transfer service to Somalia shut down their Somali operations two weeks ago. They are funding their insurgency with money derived from maritime piracy and hostage taking, the sale of charcoal to the Middle East, khat to East Africa and the Horn plus remittances chiefly through Dubai and America(Minnesota). Add to that, direct finance by Al Qaeda and the heady mix attains completion

  6. peccavi says:

    True talk re al Shabaab, I’m in several minds about the whole Somalia issue, it was very stupid of the US to go in and destroy the Islamic Court Government as we have seen what followed, but I’m not sure having the Kenyans and particularly Ethiopians going in to deal with al Shabaab is the way forward. The TFG is a waste of space, and AMISOM really cant do much more, without substantial reinforcement. The best option (in my opinion) is to focus on Somaliland and cede whatever ungoverned space there is to al Shabaab and let them prove how wonderful their way of life is. Once Somaliland is strong enough invade and destroy al Shabaab once and for all.

    @ beeg do you have any accounts of the anti Boko Haram Mandara campaign? Units involved, tactics, etc?

  7. beegeagle says:

    Yes, we do have an account of the Nigerian Army versus Islamist militants clash in the Mandara Mts

  8. beegeagle says:

    One other thing which I realised is that Kenya do not own tracked APCs or IFVs. That was probably what stalled the advance completely, at the time when the rains got in the way.

    Depending on what they have in hand,nothing stops them from grabbing about fifty units of refurbished and upgraded M113 APCs(the US would gladly transfer some of those) or BMP-2 IFVs.

    Not too late to go on the hunt for either of those since Kenya are almost certainly going to be in Somalia for all of this year and the next, possibly longer, until Somalia gets stabilized.

    During the Niger Delta insurgency in Nigeria, it was the all-year-round, very wet conditions on the Atlantic coast which sometimes led to the operational deployment of Steyr 4K-7FA tracked APCs.

    Indeed, the Warri(Nigeria) – Douala(Cameroon) of the Gulf of Guinea where the warm Benguela oceanic current and the cold Canary oceanic current is said to be the wettest 500 kilometre stretch of coastline in Africa. It rains bobcats and bulldogs all the time.

  9. Victor says:

    Check out Kenya Defence Force on wikileaks or Janes to find out about their tracked apc and other eqpt. that Kenya has not deployed so far

  10. beegeagle says:

    Any links to the Jane’s or Wikileaks articles, Victor? I assume that you have seen the articles which you are recommending for perusal?

    We keep tabs sufficiently on these things and assuming that one can keep his gaze firmly locked on the UN Register, SIPRI, Army Recognition and Army Guide simultaneously, you are fated to come up with a picture which is 90+% accurate.

    We know when the two most recent signicant deliveries of APC/IFV/MRAP took place and those were 35 units of the WZ 551 APCs from China and 100 units of OTT Puma M26-15 MRAPs from South Africa. Those are really plucky and represent very significant additions to the fleet which would serve the Kenya Army Corps of Infantry nicely for urban guerrilla warfare and counterterrorism operations. However, they are all wheeled armoured vehicles.

    Nothing wrong with wheeled APC/AFVs. To be sure and discountenancing the light and main battle tanks all of which are tracked but are not very high priority for COIN operations in Nigeria, we do retain about 1,071 wheeled APCs and AFVs in Nigeria and those are supplemented by about 325 units of tracked Steyr APCs and MT-LB…just in case it gets soggy in the theatre.

    That is all I am saying. In that theatre, it is going to rain again and again and bog down operations. Be prepared – tis the Boys Scout marching song.

    Asante, Victor and greetings to my online friends in East Africa – Olekoima, Ole Nkarei, Vitruvian, Spartan, Jasiri, Risasi, Mwaura et al. We referred SBM to you gentlemen last December. He was looking to do end-of-year reports on African armed forces at the time.

    Nice stuff going in Jubbaland. Sustain, gentlemen. Good inter-service coordination. Kenya Navy need to get involved in the action. Too quiet by KA and KAF standards. Paramilitary GSU and AP cops seeing more of the action all round than the KN!

  11. beegeagle says:


    January 12, 2012

    Gunmen killed five Kenyans including three policemen in the latest of a string of attacks in the northeastern border region with war-torn Somalia, police said Thursday.

    Two other policemen were wounded in the attack some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Somalia — an area hit by a series of blasts inthe three months since Nairobi sent troops into Somalia to fight Islamist Shebab insurgents.

    “The attack occurred at a camp in Gerille in Wajir on Wednesday night and we lost threeofficers, two others were injured,” a senior police officer in the region told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    A local government official and a civilian were also killed, he said, adding the attackers had used firearms and thrown an explosive device. “There are others who have not been accounted for,” the officer added.

    “A major security operation is currently underway and a helicopter has been sent to search for 13 police officers missing after the attack.” Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe confirmed the incident but said he had not yet “received the full details.”

    No group claimed responsibility, but Kenyan officials have blamed Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shebab rebels and their symphathisers for previous bombings and shootings, although armed bandits also operate in border areas.

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned Thursday that Kenyan security forces were abusing civilians and Somali refugees in northeastern regions following the spate of attacks since Nairobi sent troops into Somali in October.

    Hand grenades have been thrown into bars and a church, while homemade explosive devices have been set off apparently targeting security forces. “In response, members of the security forces have been responsible for rape, beatings, looting, and arbitrary arrests of civilians,” the New York-based rights group said in a statement Thursday.

    “The crackdown has largely targeted Somali refugees and Kenyan ethnic Somalis, but residents of other ethnic backgrounds in North Eastern province have also been victimized.”

    The most recent incident, HRW said, was the rounding up and beating on January 11 of residents of Garissa, the capital of North Eastern Province, in a local military camp.

    “When military officers can beat civilians in broad daylight without fearing repercussions, it’s clear that impunity has become the norm,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at HRW.

    “Repeated promises by both the police and the military to stop these abuses and investigate have amounted to nothing.”

    Kenyan army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir told HRW that he did not have knowledge of any abuses, but that that the military would investigate the claims.

    Gunmen have recently also targeted Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp about 100 kilometres south of Wednesday’s attack, which houses some 460,000 Somalis who have fled famine and war over the past two decades.

    Gunmen seized two Spaniards working for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) from Dadaab in October and are thought to have taken them to Somalia. The kidnapping of the Spaniards was one of the incidents that spurred Kenya to send troops to fight the hardline Shebab.

    Regional armies are pushing against Shebab positions in Somalia, with Kenyan forces in the far south, Ethiopian soldiers in the west and African Union forces in Mogadishu madeup of troops from Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti

  12. beegeagle says:


    January 13th, 2012

    Somalia’s Islamist Shabaab insurgents on Friday paraded two Kenyan hostages kidnapped in revenge for Nairobi’s troop deployment against the Al-Qaeda-linked group, rebels and witnesses said. Heavily armed Shabaab fighters drove the pair on a pickup truck around the streets of Bardhere in the southern Somalia’s Gedo region chanting “God is great,” witnesses said.

    “These people were captured from the enemy during a raid carried out inside Kenya by mujahedeen fighters,” said Sheikh Ali Abu-Aweys, local commander of the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab in Bardhere district. “The fighters will continue carrying out such attacks to hunt down the enemy until they fully withdraw from our holy territories,” he told AFP by telephone.

    Hardline Shabaab insurgents killed at least six Kenyans including four police officers in an attack in Kenya’s northeast, about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the Somali border late on Wednesday.

    The insurgents also kidnapped three people believed to be local government officials, Kenyan police said. “I saw two hostages on a pickup truck, they looked depressed… heavily armed men were guarding them as people watched
    them in the streets,” said Mohamed Ismail, a witness.

    Some witnesses said Shabaab gunmen ordered local telecommunication companies to switch off their systems during the display. The shooting and kidnapping on Wednesday was the latest in a string of attacks in northeast Kenya in the three months since Nairobi sent troops into Somalia to fight the Shabaab.

    Regional armies are pushing against Shabaab positions in Somalia, with Kenyan forces in the far south, Ethiopian soldiers in the west and African Union forces in Mogadishu made up of troops from Uganda,Burundi and Djibouti.

  13. beegeagle says:

    Looks like the emerging trend in Africa is for nations to seek to be supported financially or logistically as they lock horns with terrorists.

    About thirty minutes ago(17.15 GMT), I watched an interview on all-new CCTV News programme “AFRICA LIVE”which featured Moses Wetangula, Kenya’s Foreign Minister. In it, he made allusions to the international community having raised the sum of $5 billion during the Balkans conflict but being unable to meet the request for $1 billion which Kenya needs to “finish up the business” in Somalia.

    So there you have it. Kenya officially need all of $1 billion to conduct its military campaign as al-Shabaab.

  14. Juma says:

    Kenya has basically achieved its aim which was to create a buffer between the Kenyan border and Somalia. They have created a 100Km buffer inside Somalia. Why would they want to take more risks and try to stabilize Somalia which every wants but no one is willing to put their money where their mouth is?. I think its only natural for Kenya to ask for external assistance if they are to go beyond their primary objective.

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