News / Africa

Somali Militia Says Forces Move Closer to al-Shabab Stronghold

Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers patrol the Indian Ocean coastline in Burgabo, south of Kismayu in Somalia, December 14, 2011Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers patrol the Indian Ocean coastline in Burgabo, south of Kismayu in Somalia, December 14, 2011
x
Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers patrol the Indian Ocean coastline in Burgabo, south of Kismayu in Somalia, December 14, 2011
Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers patrol the Indian Ocean coastline in Burgabo, south of Kismayu in Somalia, December 14, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +
NAIROBI - A spokesman for a militia aligned with Somalia's Transitional Federal Government says troops are moving closer to al-Shabab's principal remaining stronghold of Kismayo.  The pro-government militia Ras Kamboni says the militant Islamist group is trying to rally civilians inside the port city to defend against the oncoming attack.

The long-stalled offensive in southern Somalia, aimed at seizing control of Somalia’s third city Kismayo from al-Shabab, has gained momentum as African Union troops, Somali government forces and allied militias take more ground.

Abdinasir Serar of Ras Kamboni says the final push to Kismayo is expected to start in the coming weeks.  He says that push will come on multiple fronts.

Our forces are 75 kilometers away from Kismayo, Serar says.  We are planning to enter Kismayo through the seaport and several other towns -- Bula Haji and Jilib, for example -- and also want to come through all these directions to capture Kismayo.

African Union forces say they have captured the town of Bibi, which is 75 kilometers from Kismayo and 45 kilometers from Afmadow, another town that pro-government forces recently captured from al-Shabab.

There is growing concern for the safety of Kismayo's tens of thousands of residents as the final military push approaches.

Serar says Ras Kamboni is monitoring the situation inside Kismayo very closely, and received an intelligence report that al-Shabab met with local clan elders to encourage them to fight.

Serar says the reports they are getting from Kismayo is that al-Shabab met with clan elders and told them to take weapons and fight against what they call non-believers.  He says al-Shabab is likely not to put up a fight and may pull out of the port city.

However, multiple sources say that al-Shabab had set up a new defensive position in a place called Birta Dheer, midway on the road between Afmadow and Kismayo.

Birta Dheer is the main strategic position for the militants, and if that position is taken it may be difficult for al-Shabab to defend the port city of Kismayo.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid