seven nation army

I´m gonna fight ´em all/A seven nation army couldn´t hold me back

At the FRPI foreign fighter conference in 2010, a panel discussed ‘foreign fighters’ in Somalia. The panel made the point that while there was reporting on ‘foreign fighters’ from the Middle East and Europe, there had been less on the role of ‘foreign fighters’ from neighbouring countries like Kenya. They also suggested that defining a ‘foreign fighter’ in the Somali context was complex, is a US-born Somali ‘foreign’? A write-up of the Somalia panel can be found here. Audio and video are here.  A United Nations report from 2011 gives insight into the role on Kenyans and others through their investigations into the bombings in Kampala, Uganda. The United Nations report generated controversy in its detailing of financial ties to Kenya.  A recent article in the Kenyan press profiles a Kenyan ‘foreign fighter’ alleged to hold a leadership position. According to Somalia Report the country continues to be a destination of interest for ‘foreign fighters’. They also have an interview  with the Somali wife of a Sudanese ‘foreign fighter’. The same source has articles or interviews with a former al-Shabaab fighter and a victim of al-Shabaab activities. The killing of an individual with ties to the United Kingdom was widely reported (here and here) and even led to suggestions that  the killing may have been the result of tensions between individuals in al-Shabaab, perhaps about the role or place of ‘foreign fighters’ in the organisation. Obviously much remains to be learnt about ‘foreign fighters’ in Somalia specifically and more generally about how and why individuals become ‘foreign fighters’.