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Somali and Maasai Leaders Hailed as “Pillars of Kenya’s Security”



By: Hassan Yarrow

NAIROBI—The crucial role played by Somali and Maasai leaders in preserving Kenya’s security and political stability has been thrust into the spotlight following a recent tweet by the former Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow.

In his tweet, Kerrow highlighted three key instances where senior Somali security officials stepped in to avert major crises, earning praise for their “dependability, trust, loyalty, and courage.”

“In 1982, former Chief of the General Staff General Mohamud was instrumental in thwarting a military coup attempt against the Moi government, thereby preserving the country’s democratic order,” Kerrow wrote.

He also noted the pivotal intervention of then-Inspector General of Police General Hussein Ali during the tumultuous 2007 post-election period, when Ali “played a pivotal role in preventing the country from descending into anarchy and helped incumbent President Mwai Kibaki retain power.”

More recently, in 2023, National Intelligence Service Director Noordin Haji was credited with foiling an alleged “palace coup” against President William Ruto, with the support of the Cabinet Secretary for Defence, Aden Duale who deployed the military to restore stability.

“The prominent roles of Somali security leaders can be attributed to their dependability, trust, loyalty, and courage – traits that have made them invaluable assets in moments of national crisis,” Kerrow said.

Beyond the Somali community, the former senator also noted the Maasai community’s similar qualities, with several Maasai individuals serving as Interior Security Ministers under past administrations, including Ole Tipis, Julius Sunkuli, George Saitoti, Ole Lenku, and Ole Metito.

The tweet underscores the vital contributions of Kenya’s ethnic diversity to the country’s stability and security, with Somali and Maasai leaders playing crucial behind-the-scenes roles in safeguarding the nation’s democratic institutions and processes.

“Kenya’s strength lies in its diversity, and the examples highlighted by Senator Kerrow demonstrate how leaders from different communities have stepped up to protect the country’s interests at critical junctures,” said political analyst Dr. Fatima Abdi Hussien

As Kenya continues to navigate complex political and security challenges, the enduring legacy of Somali and Maasai leaders in preserving the nation’s stability is likely to remain a topic of keen interest and discussion.


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