Somalia calls for multi-national A.U. force in volatile Kismayo
Saturday, July 06, 2013
Somali government on Wednesday said it wants multinational African Union (AU) forces be deployed in Kismayo after accusing Kenya troops in the port city of siding with one of the warring clans.
Fierce clashes between opposing clan militia that broke out in the southern Somali port city of Kismayo last week over the leadership of local administration for the region left almost 65 people dead and more than 150 wounded, according to the Somali government.
Kenyan contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are deployed in Kismayo along with Somali National Army and local clan militia who fought with the allied forces to drive Al-Shabaab militant group from the city in late 2011.
Somali government said the Kenya forces in the city did not remain neutral in the fighting between the clan militia and sided with the clan militia from Raskamboni Brigade which is loyal to Ahmed Madobe, one of several warlords contesting the leadership of the administration of the city.
In a letter addressed to the AU and AMISOM, Somalia’s Foreign Ministry asked for the deployment of multinational AU force “given the political volatility of the situation in Kismayo and the incompetence shown by the AMISOM commander in the area that resulted in poor judgment.”
Somali Foreign Ministry asked the AU leadership for “the immediate deployment of AMISOM multinational force that will operate under the direct mandate of AMISOM and Command and Control of the Force Headquarters in Mogadishu.”
The Somalia government also asked AU to launch “an immediate independent inquiry of the incident” in Kismayo and called for the release of the Deputy Brigade Commander of Somalia Forces and any other officers from Somali National Force who are being detained by Kenyan forces.
Somali Foreign Ministry called for “the nomination of a new political officers whose nationalities will be different from the AMISOM contingent in Sector Two,” which is southern regions of Lower Juba and Middle Juba of which Kismayo is the capital.
The move comes after deadly clashes in the port city between rival warlords over the leadership of the regional administration in the area.
Somali government wants to establish local administration for the southern regions, but local clan militia of Raskamboni which fought alongside Kenyan forces want to set up its own autonomous state, a move opposed by Somali central government.