After the fall of the Said Barre regime in 1991, Somalia has never seen peace. It has been a major concern to the international community and efforts have been made to stabilize Somalia. Since independence, relations between Kenya and Somalia have been defined by the legacy of colonialism in both countries with regard to the geographical area. For decades, Kenya and Somalia enjoyed friendly relations. Nationals from the two states enjoyed free movement and engaged in trade across the border. Following the outbreak of Somali’s internal conflict, Kenya continued to support Somalia through hosting large numbers of refugees and spearheading diplomatic initiatives to restore peace. However, relations between Kenya and Somalia began to deteriorate due to the internationalisation of the conflict. Kenya was pulled in as security threats spread across the border, undermining integrity of the border, vital economic and foreign policy interests. Cross-border incursions in border areas, attacks on humanitarian workers and recurrent terrorist attacks inside Kenya associated by Somali nationals pushed by Kenya to launch a military intervention in Somalia in 2011.
This project seeks to bridge the gap in research by examining the impact of terrorism on the diplomatic relations between Kenya and Somalia. The main aim of this proposal is to examine how terrorism has affected these relations as manifest in shrinking humanitarian space for Somali refugees, restrictions on financial remittances, declining trade between the two states and the Kenya military intervention. In particular, the study will examine how Kenya’s national
security concerns and the fight against terrorism has affected relations between Kenya and
1.1 Background to the Research Problem
Kenya has enjoyed relatively good relationship with Somalia since independence and members from these two states travelled freely between each other .After decades of civil war and the collapse of the central government in Somalia Kenya has had to deal with the effects of the situation. Kenya has suffered a number of frequent attacks by Al- shabaab militants from Somalia for instance the attack on the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa that killed 15 people, in June
13th 2010. In October 2011, a grenade exploded at a political rally at Uhuru park killing 6 people.
When, a 66yrs disabled French woman was kidnapped from her home near Manda Island by suspected Al-shabaab gunmen. As a result of these and other instances of terrorist attacks, Kenya decided to send its troops to Somalia in October 2011 to protect its territory. This project will show how the military intervention by Kenya has altered diplomatic relationships with Somalia.