Conflict patterns in Africa have changed rapidly in recent years posing a challenge to peace and security.
Kenya cited national security when it crossed into Somali territory in pursuit of Al-Shabaab militants. But there were numerous other potential aims at play.
Official reasons for joining the Somalia mission were that the conflict posed a security risk. But in fact other factors played a bigger role.
Kenya faces a serious threat of terrorist attacks given its strategic geopolitical position, its tourism and corruption. The country needs to squarely face this and take appropriate measures.
It's unclear exactly when Kenya's next president will begin the process of withdrawing troops from Somalia. If it's too rushed, the move might destabilise the region.
Al Shabaab is facing stress under increased pressure from the government and the regional states. But it should also be noted that predictions of its collapse have come and gone before