Oct 18, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

KDF’s soft power winning hearts and minds in Somalia

Her left leg was swollen and had red spots near the ankle where she was bitten a few days ago.

The hospital receives an average of two snakebite cases a day, but relies on Kenya’s Defense Forces ( KDF) for anti-poison cans. Troops serving as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) are providing medical aid to pharmacies and hospitals in Dhobley and Kismayu.

“There is another victim in the men’s wards. His case is serious as he was delayed at home, which caused the poison to spread upstream, leading to a general weakness in his body, “said Hussein Abdullahi, the hospital officer in charge.

< p> Over the past two years, KDF soldiers have intensified their civil-military cooperation (Cimic) with the people of Somalia by drilling boreholes, donating food, educational materials, medical supplies and seedlings.

They also provide Business tools like milk vending machines, and play sports with local clubs to inspire the locals and keep al-Shabaab fighters at bay.

“This is a purely asymmetrical warfare that keeps mutating and new challenges that affects our change of strategy and operations, ”said Brigadier General Jeff Nyagah, Commander of Amisom Kenya in Sector II en locals to gather information against Al-Shabaab. They also want to shape the local culture so that the Somalis, who are by nature shepherds and nomads, can adopt other means of survival such as mixed farming.

“We are professionals and believe we came here to support the Somali people not as their masters, but so that they can have lasting peace and security. They appreciate what we are doing for them through Cimic activities, quick impact projects and working with key leaders like imams and local government to win this war, ”said Brig. Nyagah.

Women and children often bear the brunt of the African conflict and are also the main actors in reconciliation. Amisom’s Female Engagement Team (FET) leads Cimic’s activities in Dhobley, where it has donated food and business tools to women.

Captain Getrude Auma Abiyo leads the 10 inside and outside the mission area and other bases.

They had contacts with local women’s groups and security officials to raise awareness about the Covid-19 pandemic, tree planting and health. The FET has carried out training courses on the subject of midwives to promote maternal care in the villages and to make women aware of sexual and gender-based violence.

“If we win the hearts and minds of women, we can win their hearts and minds Attract the minds of the youth. It’s just the use of soft power in the peace process, ”said Capt. Auma.

Senior Sergeant Godfrey Adawo, who runs a demonstration farm in Dhobley that trains locals in modern farming methods, said the use of soft power has had a positive impact on people.

The people who have been indoctrinated by the Al-Shabaab militia are realizing that they can participate in socio-economic activities that are not about terrorism in order to survive.

“Terrorism will not gained more with weapons only; Whenever we offer them alternative means of survival, we take them away from the militants, ”said Snr Sgt Adawo.

KDF troops have also set up a police station in Dhobley town to ensure law and order. Previously, the local police operated from a tree.

On Tuesday, the station’s incident book showed that three Al-Shabaab spies had been arrested and detained while awaiting their transfer to Jubaland for further investigation. < / p>