Today from Hiiraan Online:
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KDF slowed down by delayed MoU
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
By Juma Kwayera
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Kenya Defence Force (KDF), currently in limbo about five kilometres from Afmadow are under pressure to resume operations following the regrouping of Al Shabaab out of Afgooye town.
After they were pushed out of the town on Tuesday night, there were reports that the militiamen, among them two Kenyans and a Ugandan whose name was given as Sheikh Kaka, were fleeing southwards to Marka port, 30km south of the capital, Mogadishu.
At the African Union Mission for Somalia (Amisom), there were concerns that the regrouping of the Al Shabaab in Marka and Kismayu would present a major challenge for Kenyans, who have been slowed down by delayed signing of a memorandum of understanding with the African Union.
In Mogadishu, concerns have been expressed over the delay, with Foreign Minister Sam Ongeri and his Defence counterpart Yusuf Haji said to be out of the country till next week, and Chief of General Staff Julius Karangi also on an official foreign tour.
On Wednesday, the Ugandan, Brig Paul Lokec, expressed the task of flushing the terror group will be accomplished when the militia resorts to direct combat.
Speaking to journalists in the Afgooye region, where his troops were preparing to capture a bridge that links the region to Kismayu, Brig-Gen Lokec, a veteran of all wars Uganda has fought, said the terror group was on the run southwards. He said four Amisom soldiers were injured.
On Wednesday, Amisom troops hit the last resistance of the group at Afgooye, during which Lokec said seven rebels were killed and 60 injured seriously.
However, The Standard counted two bodies of insurgents dressed in combat gear and a burn-down technical blown up by a tank.
On the war-front, the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Somali National Forces, Abdukarim Yusuf, was upbeat that end of the of Al Shabaab was near after the capture of Afgooye.
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