Sunday, February 10, 2013
In August 2012, Somali government forces backed by AMISOM troops from the Kenyan contingent launched an amphibious landing into Kismayo town putting to an end Al-Shabaab’s five-year stay in the strategic southern town.
Six months later, the town is fully under the control of Kenyan troops and forces from the Somali national army. However, security remains the biggest threat for the locals. AMISOM argues that explosions emanating from hand grenades and improvised explosive devices that used to be rather common in Kismayo town have drastically reduced.
Meanwhile, the current interim administration in Kismayo town hopes to improve the security of its people by liberating the entire Juba region from the Al-Shabaab fighters. They say that Al-Shabaab threat still remains until they lose all the areas they control.
Four months after the capture of this town, by the Kenyan forces together with forces from the Somali national army, the security threat still remains, but the residents are optimistic that with time, the security will improve.
Kenyan troops who are part of the African Union Mission to Somalia AMISOM however say that the security of Kismayo is at its best. The forces have secured the Kismayo seaport, airport and other vital institutions. Until recently, Kismayo town served as the Al-Shabaab's main financial center after loosing the capital Mogadishu to allied forces.
Government ministers, lawmakers and representatives of regional blocks like the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as well as United Nations officials have been visiting the strategic southern town that is the third largest town in Somalia.
As for AMISOM and the local administration, all they hope for now is that the people of Kismayo will return to their homes and rebuild the town after decades of civil war.