By Yuvin Manadeniya, for Al Jazeera
A series of aggressive acts taken by Kenya quickly escalated throughout Security Council meetings today, where it was detailed how Kenyan forces have taken control of Jubaland and have received support from the US in this process.
The incidents began with an appeal by the Kenyan president for the Security Council to approve an extension of the powers granted to them in combating the forces of Al-Shabaab in Somalian territory. However, with no action being taken by the Security Council on this, Kenyan forces moved into the area of Somalia known as Jubaland, a long contested area of land between the two nations.
This push resulted in a retreat of Al-Shabaab forces in the area, however due to Kenyan forces leaving their positions in the AMISOM mission to assist in this push, Al-Shabaab have secured positions that were previously liberated. Tensions rose as it was discovered that these militant forces are moving towards Mogadishu, in Somalia. The president of Somalia pleaded with the Security Council today to act upon this issue so that his people could be protected from acts of aggression from both Kenyan and Al-Shabaab forces.
While Kenya claimed initially that this move was to drive out Al-Shabaab forces, it has since claimed the area as a de facto territory with Kenyan law being applied and enforced through civilian police deployed in the area, an act which is in violation of human rights law.This escalated further when it was revealed in an intercepted document obtained through WikiLeaks that the presence of US drone activity was confirmed. The document detailed the use of MQ-9 drones for the purposes of providing close air support and reconnaissance to the Kenyan forces, however due to the continuous press lockouts that have occurred there has been no response from the US on this that we are able to report accurately on.