A long-awaited assault on the southern Somali port of Kismayo that Western governments hope will end the influence of al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia has been delayed over last-minute negotiations on how to divide the spoils and avoid more civil war should the city fall.
|Militia fighting in Somalia|
Last October, Kenya sent troops across its border with Somalia to root out fighters aligned with al Shabaab, the Somalia affiliate of al Qaida. In June, Kenya’s prime minister promised that his country’s forces would take Kismayo by this month, ahead of Somalia’s transition to a new federal government next week.
But a spokesman for Ras Kamboni, a Somali militia that’s fighting alongside Kenyan troops, said those plans had been delayed for "political reasons" and promised only that the offensive would be begin before the end of the month.
Meanwhile Kenya will have its diplomatic mission reopened in Somali capital, Mogadishu, in the coming days, according to Kenyan Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi. Mwangi made the announcement on Tuesday,August 14 after visiting Mogadishu to pay what he called a courtesy call to Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.
He said their primary mission in Mogadishu was to begin the process of reopening their diplomatic mission, adding that they are very delighted to secure a premise for that purpose. The Kenyan PS promised to relocate their embassy from Nairobi where it has been conducting its business.
Mwangi said the decision to reopen their embassy in Mogadishu was taken in order for them to be able to support the ongoing process and ensure that their presence in Somalia becomes a meaning full in terms of their involvement in the post-conflict peace building and reconstruction of Somalia.