Two-tier administration for Kismayu
By Cyrus Ombati
Kenya Defence Forces and their AMISOM counterparts have agreed to establish a two-tier administration to run Kismayu Town following its capture two weeks ago.
The troops together with the Somali National Army and Raskamboni Brigade met on Wednesday to wage the way forward on Kismayu administration.
Operations spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna said tier one will comprise of the chair, his deputy and 10 assistants.
Col Oguna added two of the 10 assistants will each be in charge of a department. The departments include: Security, Economics, Justice, Social and Relief.
The second tier will comprise of working parties, each having five personnel in the departments stated above bringing the working number to 25, he added.
“It was unanimously agreed that leadership would be rotational after 20 days. The meeting further agreed that the findings of the IGAD meeting taking place in Nairobi will supersede any arrangements that may be existing in Kismayu presently,” he said.
The working parties meet every alternate days to brief the committee on the situation progress.
Oguna said security situation in Kismayu, is steadily improving with more militants surrendering to AMISOM forces.
He added movement in and out of the town continues to be monitored at control points erected outside the town.
The move by the troops is part of measures aimed at ensuring security in the town before they withdraw and hand it over to the local administration.
The troops’ mandate to enforce peace in Somalia ends on October 31 but its future functions in that country will be determined by the current political road map of the new Somali Government.
If the mandate of the troops with the African Mission in Somalia (Amisom) is not renewed or extended, the mission will transit into a Peace Mission, Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi has said.
Karangi said so far KDF and Amisom occupy 200,000 square kilometres of Somalia after taking over key towns ending with Kismayu, which had been the lifeline of the Al Shabaab militia.
He said the purpose of the KDF mission in Somalia was to degrade Al Shabaab who have been posing a threat to Kenya and safeguard the Kenyan borders.
“Now it is for the new Government to consolidate the gains,” Karangi said when Brand Kenya presented messages of goodwill by school children from various schools to the Kenyan forces in Somalia.
He said KDF is now concentrating on medical and food assistance and also drilling boreholes, all being done through the financial assistance of the Kenyan Government.
Defence Minister Yusuf Haji said during the operation in Somalia, Al Shabaab lost over 3,000 of their men and assorted arms and technicals have been captured. There are over 4,000 Kenyan soldiers in Somali under Amisom.
“Our troops upheld human rights while deployed in Somalia,” Haji said.
He however cautioned that while Al Shabaab is no longer in control of Southern Somalia, the group is still dangerous.