News / Africa

Al-Shabab Withdraws From Kismayo

Picture of Kismayo, Somalia, taken September 28, 2012.
Picture of Kismayo, Somalia, taken September 28, 2012.
Gabe JoselowMohammed Yusuf
The Somali militant group al-Shabab says it has withdrawn from its last major stronghold in southern Somalia, following a military strike led by Kenyan armed forces.  The militant group says its retreat from Kismayo is a tactical decision and warns that they will continue to fight in the city.

Residents in Kismayo say al-Shabab fighters left the city early Saturday a day after Kenya launched a major attack targeting the militants from the land, air and sea.

An al-Shabab spokesman said the group’s commanders had ordered the tactical withdraw from the city.  A message from a militant-linked Twitter account warned of more fighting, saying Kismayo will be “transformed from a peaceful city… into a battle-zone.”

Kenyan forces, which are part of the African Union peacekeeping mission known as AMISOM, claim to be in control of some areas in the north of the city.

Al-Shabab Timeline
 
2006: Launches insurgency to topple Somali government, impose Islamic law
 
2008: U.S. declares al-Shabab a foreign terrorist organization
 
2009: Seizes control of parts of Mogadishu, Kismayo
 
2010: Expands control across central and southern Somalia; carries out deadly bombings in Kampala, Uganda in first attack outside Somali
 
2011: Blocks drought/famine aid from areas under its control
 
2011: East African leaders declare al-Shabab a regional threat, Ethiopian, Kenyan troops enter Somalia to pursue the group, which is driven out of Mogadishu
 
2012: Declares itself an al-Qaida ally, loses ground in Somalia, troops advance on the group's stronghold Kismayo
Residents say the exit of al-Shabab has left a security vacuum in the south, and reported seeing looting of homes and offices.

Kenyan military spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna says soldiers are preparing to move into other parts of the town to confirm whether any al-Shabab remnants have stayed behind.

“In the south, now that they’re getting into the south, we’ll be able to determine that when they get there. But information that is trickling in from unconfirmed quarters is that al-Shabab rolled down their tents yesterday in the night and part of today in the morning,” said Oguna.

Somali National Army Commander Abdullahi Olow said Somali and African Union forces are still closing in on
Kismayo from the north and plan to full control over security in the city.

An undated handout photograph released by Kenya's Ministry of Defense on September 29, 2012, shows members of the Kenyan Defense Forces during an operation at an undisclosed location in Somalia.An undated handout photograph released by Kenya's Ministry of Defense on September 29, 2012, shows members of the Kenyan Defense Forces during an operation at an undisclosed location in Somalia.
x
An undated handout photograph released by Kenya's Ministry of Defense on September 29, 2012, shows members of the Kenyan Defense Forces during an operation at an undisclosed location in Somalia.
An undated handout photograph released by Kenya's Ministry of Defense on September 29, 2012, shows members of the Kenyan Defense Forces during an operation at an undisclosed location in Somalia.
He told VOA that his forces were attacked by some al-Shabab fighters Saturday outside Kismayo.

"We encountered al-Shabab in two small villages on our way to Kismayo, and we crushed them," he said. "They are using young fighters who they are stationing on the roads."

Al-Shabab has been weakened as a military and political force since being driven out of the Somali capital Mogadishu by African Union forces last year.  Since then, the group has relied on the Kismayo seaport as a source of revenue and supplies.

Kenyan spokesman Oguna says part of AMISOM’s military objective is to destroy these supply lines to further weaken the group’s capabilities.

"Once their logistic bases have been taken out, their ammunition dumps have been hit and destroyed and the seaport is no longer in their control, it might be very hard to sustain," he said.

Kenyan forces first entered southern Somalia in October last year after a series of cross-border kidnappings that Kenya blamed on Somali militants.

The forces were integrated into the AMISOM peacekeeping mission in June.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi
October 01, 2012 9:19 AM
The Al Shabab and their terror networks have caused the worst humanitarian crisis in History with the World largest refugee camps in Kenya with refugees fleeing their draconian laws .I plead with President Obama whose father came from Kenya to send a clear message to the Al Shabab that the World cannot and will not tolerate their terror activities and networks .


by: Chep from: USA
September 30, 2012 12:35 AM
Proud of kenyan and African Union Forces for their great, yet tough job so far to eradicate these selfish Somalia terrorists! It sends a clear message to all the tyrants and terrorists, that, the united peace loving world, will continue to fight them till they are wiped out from the face of the earth. Peace, Love & Unity


by: Anonymous from: USA
September 29, 2012 6:21 PM
Congratulations to the Kenyan forces for an intelligent campaign to free these people, allowing them to return from Muslim Law (Sharia) back to human rights.


by: washingtone onyango from: nairobi
September 29, 2012 4:50 PM
"KDF congrats keep it up and go ahead and destroy more we wish you success"

Al Shabaab should be crashed by all means and resources available at our disposal
KDF and AMISOM deserves honour. lets pray for them as they guard our neighbors.

God almighty hs given us the victory. CHAI KISMAYU INDEED

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid