Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Raila seeks EU, US help in battle for Kismayu

12 June 2012, 15:02

Nairobi - The EU and the US have been asked to help the African Union force in Somalia (AMISOM) to wrest the port of Kismayu from Somalia’s Al Shabaab Islamists, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Tuesday.

“Our aim is to get to Kismayu by August,” Odinga said, saying that taking the Al Shabaab’s last bastion would entail an “operation by land, sea and air.”

“We have asked the EU to help us with the Atalanta forces that they have there; they are reluctant,” Odinga told a meeting with international media.

Between five and 10 warships, depending on the period, are deployed off the Horn of Africa as part of the European Union’s Atalanta operation that was launched in 2008 to protect merchant vessels from Somali pirates.

Atalanta’s mandate was expanded in March to include air-borne operations against pirate bases on the Somali coast.

However no mention was made of possible operations against the Shebab Islamists who are fighting the weak transitional government and who still control a large chunk of south and central Somalia.

“We have asked the Americans for assistance … we are talking about financial assistance,” he went on.

The assault on Kismayu “is going to be a joint effort,” the prime minister said. “We are working with other international groups which are in Somalia,” he said, citing Ugandan troops within AMISOM as well as Ethiopian forces.

Kenya rolled tanks and troops across the border into Somalia in October. The Ethiopians went in one month later.

The Kenyan contingent, which according to Nairobi numbers 4,631 soldiers, was officially integrated into AMISOM in early June.

Burundian and Ugandan troops in AMISOM pressured the Al Shabaab into abandoning fixed positions in Mogadishu in August.

The Islamists have lost other major towns such as Beledweyne and Baidoa but have so far held on to the port of Kismayo, from which they draw most of their revenue.

“Kismayu is the real major source of supply of the Shebab, without the control of Kismayu, it is very difficult to completely neutralise Shabaab,” Odinga said.

- AFP

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
William Korir
Kidero to snub CORD's parallel Ma...

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero will snub the CORD Coalition's parallel Madaraka Day celebrations, it has emerged. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Late night phone-call that stoppe...

Details have emerged of a long phone-call between CORD leaders that eventually led to the end of the IEBC protests. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Sonko not fit to be Governor, Jub...

Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko should stay put as Senator and not ascend to Governor, an MP has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Samuel Arap Yego
Government to address teacher sho...

The government has started addressing the problem of acute shortage of teachers in North Eastern region of the country. Read more...

Submitted by
Jackson Okata
Do not allow Raila to topple your...

The rift valley council of elders has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to stand firm and not to allow CORD leader Raila Odinga to topple his government. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Uhuru supporting Kabogo, Waititu ...

Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu claims that his arch nemesis William Kabogo is getting help from unlikely quarters. Read more...