The Kenya Shifta War and Realism

Topics: Somalia, Kenya, United Kingdom Pages: 6 (2618 words) Published: May 15, 2013
The Kenyan Shifta War (1963 – 1968) and its Realism base and Power Pursuit. In this essay I am going to discuss the Kenyan war that has emerged in 1963 due to long-lasting grievances about bad treatment from British colonial isolation and ethnic Somali in Kenya irredentism drive to unite all other five Somali lands with Kenya into a greater Somalia. The issue of British colony had otherwise been much less to do with this war, the main reason to war was that of irredentism by Somalis. This conflict went on as Somalis resisted from being governed by a dark skinned government of the Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta while at the same time seek unity. Somali seek independence at the expense of Kenya. Somalia wanted to be in power to rule a unified greater Somalia but Kenya couldn’t let their borders be destroyed due to ethnic driven irredentism by Somalis. The Somali independence threatened the national and political unity in Kenya. Thereafter the effects or results of these differing goals led to the Shifta war of 1963. The main point of which I intend to further emphasize in this essay is the interlink of the Realism operating system that existed in the beginning to the end of this war. I will further in this essay outline how power and force was used to reach the ends of this war. The main point of this essay shows the understanding of realism aspects that are interlinked with this war or conflict. I shall further in this essay argue on how the theory of Realism and power pursuit by Somalis led to the outburst of this war called Shifta and how it brought about end to this conflict. At the heart of this war there is a high power drive or fight for power by both Kenya and Somalia and both states were highly motivated to use force of aggression to be the most powerful state. Somalis in Kenya had an idea of breaking the borders of Kenya and merge it with the other five states of Somalia to form a greater Somalia. This was based on the idea of the common ethnicity by Somalis as they were Muslims by religion and shared common language. The possibility of this idea to come to reality was never assured since the British colonialism in Kenya has separated different kinds of ethnic groups to avoid disputes that arise due to ethnicity, religion or any culture and it has been the effective system to control Kenyan state since the state of Kenya had more than eighty-seven ethnic groups at that time. So the idea of Somalia of grouping or break Kenyan borders to form a great Somalia was not to be effective because Muslims by their religion are not like Christians who can exist within other religions and be able to be Christians without affecting or be affected by other religions or cultures. Muslims do not associate themselves with other kinds of cultures or religions, they are sort of discriminatory towards other clans. As this drive of irredentism by Somalia has been proven not to be effective by Kenyans, Kenyans had to lookout for their beliefs and its political system as well. The only way Kenya protected itself from this Somalia legacy, it had to fight for its dependency as well. Kenya therefore declined Somalis proposal as this Somalia system threatened Kenya’s political and national unity. As Kenyans declined Somalis proposal the views of both states clashed and this clash led to the adaptation of realism instruments to resolve conflict and that is to inflict force of aggression to each other to maintain or gain power. This act of inflicting force or aggression to one another is the pillar or it is at the centre of the realist states. And the good way of inflicting force or aggression to one another is to gain something out of it. The only thing the realists seek to gain at any act is power. Somalia was the first to challenge Kenya to war with the main pursuit of power to rule the entire Kenya state. Kenya had to fight back the Somalis to maintain their power. As Kenya fought for its independence from Somalia they had to use force to...
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