Kenyan soldiers capture Somali key port city of Kismayo
NAIROBI, Sept. 28 (RBC Radio) – Kenyan troops which are part of the UN-backed Africa Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Friday they had captured Somali strategic port city of Kismayo, the only remaining bastion of rebel Al-Shabaab.
Kenya’s military spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna said the port city was taken over by Kenya Defence Forces and Somalia National Army (SNA) on Friday in a combined operation involving Navy, ground and air operations.
“I can confirm the port city of Kismayo was taken over by KDF and SNA forces this morning (Friday) and the details of how the operation was conducted will come later,” Oguna told Xinhua by telephone.
Kismayo is the third largest city of Somalia which is considered the hub of the militant group, Al-Shabaab, which has links with global terror network, the al Qaida.
Kismayo supplies the insurgents with steady income in the form of taxes and is an extremely strategic city for Al-Shabaab fighters who have reportedly reinforced their numbers in the port city which is home to top leadership of the ragtag.
“The capture of Kismayo means that the main source of income for Al-Shabaab is gone. The port city used to be Al-Shabaab’s major source of income which they used to finance their operations across Somalia. They have now been weakened,” Oguna said.
He said there was a lot of work to be done by AMISOM forces despite the fall of the strategic port city which was Al-Shabaab’s only remaining stronghold in the Horn of Africa.
“There are still a lot of arms in the illegal hands that needs to be recovered and which are not accounted for. There is still a lot of consolidation that needs to be done on the ground,” Oguna said.
“We urge the residents of Kismayo to remain calm and stay away from Al-Shabaab targets. Civilian safety and security is a top priority for KDF,” he said.