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In (Hot) Pursuit of Justice? The Legality of Kenyan Military Operations in Somalia

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS ­ ACTUALITIES THE LEGALITY OF KENYAN MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SOMALIA I. INTRODUCTION In October 2011 the Kenyan government announced at a press conference held in Nairobi that it would be undertaking military operations against al-Shabaab militants in Somali territory after a series of kidnappings in the area attributed to the Islamic militant group.1 Kenya, which has been `determinedly non-interventionist' since gaining independence in 1963, sent several thousand troops into neighbouring Somalia with a military objective of pushing on from its positions in the Somali towns of Afmadow and Ras Kamboni to attack Kismayo from the west and south, hoping to `inflict trauma and damage' on al-Shabaab.2 Since October, various successes in defeating al-Shabaab have been reported in the international media, with the capital Mogadishu as well as a number of other strategic towns now reportedly free from al-Shabaab militants. Kenyan troops may now have been integrated into AMISOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia,3 but what has remained unexamined is the legality of Kenya's decision to conduct military operations in Somali territory. This article will address this issue by providing a brief overview of the law on self-defence and offering a comparative analysis through the lens http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

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