October 24, 2011
Operation Linda Nchi
Kenya launched an offensive operation against al Shabaab in Somalia codenamed “Operation Linda Nchi” (Operation Protect the Nation) on October 16, 2011. The pretext for the start of the operation was a series of kidnappings in northern Kenya: on September 11, a British man was killed and his wife kidnapped from a resort in Lamu; on October 1, a French woman was taken from her Kenyan home; and on October 13, two Spanish aid workers were kidnapped from Dadaab refugee camp. The scale of the operation indicates that plans for such an offensive had been underway for some time. Al Shabaab’s presence in southern Somalia has hurt Kenya’s tourism industry and an increase in pirate attacks have proven costly for Kenya’s shipping industry. Kenya has complemented this operation with increased security inside of the country, including operations in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood, which has earned the moniker “Little Mogadishu.