War in Southern Somalia:Kenyan troops head to Kisimayu after Ras Kiamboni take over + Related News
Laaska News Oct. 21,2011 Kenya Media + VIDEO
Kibaki vows to defend Kenya’s territory
Kenyan forces capture Shabaab’s Ras Kamboni
William Oeri | NATION Kenyan troops heading to Amuma border entry point to flush out al Shabaab militants. The army captured a pirates haven of Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia on October 20, 2011 and were advancing towards the al Shabaab stronghold of Kismayu.
Kenyan forces on Thursday captured a pirates haven in Southern Somalia and were advancing towards the al Shabaab stronghold of Kismayu.
Ras Kamboni was seized by troops which entered Somalia through the Kiunga border point in Lamu.
“This avenue provides the Defence Forces with a vantage to clear al Shabaab and pirates on the Somali waters from Ras Kiamboni to Kismayu,” military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said on Thursday.
The troops did not face any resistance, he added.
Ground troops moved in after air force jets had pounded targets in the town for several days.
Ras Kamboni has been a key haven, not just for pirates attacking ships in the Indian Ocean, but also had training camps for the al Qaeda-linked terror group.
It was also a key route through-which foreign jihadists were smuggled into Somalia to join al Shabaab.
Its capture came as President Kibaki explained why he had sent the military into Somalia.
Speaking during the Mashujaa Day (Heroes day) celebrations, the President praised soldiers involved in the incursion saying they were ‘‘ the country’s new heroes”.
“We will defend our territorial integrity through all measures necessary to ensure peace and stability,” the President said at Nyayo National Stadium. (READ: Kibaki vows to defend Kenya’s territory)
After capturing Ras Kamboni, the troops in the south sector of the operation will now advance to the port city of Kismayu where they hope to link up with the others advancing through the central sector who are on the outskirts of Afmadow Town.
The troops in the Afmadow sector had been forced to scale down operations due to bad weather which made movement difficult.
The capture of Ras Kamboni is a major victory in the war against piracy which is one of the major sources of revenue for al Shabaab militants responsible for the insecurity in Somalia and the region.
Three other al Shabaab strongholds had already been overrun since the start of the offensive dubbed “Operation Linda Nchi (Kiswahili for Operation Protect the Nation). They area Dhobley, Tabda and Beles Qooqani, all in the central sector.
As the Kenyan troops battled the militants in southern Somalia, a joint operation by African Union and Transitional Federal Government forces captured the last al Shabaab stronghold in Mogadishu.
Daynile District, Northwestern of the Capital, was the only area still under the militants’ control. It is a strategic corridor that connects Mogadishu to both Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga was the first to break the news of the fall of Ras Kamboni while addressing the nation during the Mashujaa Day celebrations.
“We are fighting the criminal group. Today (Thursday) we have taken over Ras Kamboni. We will fight them until we are secure,” Mr Odinga said.
He said Kenya had a duty to protect its borders and to ensure the country remained stable and peaceful for the sake of the present and future generations. Major Chirchir said Afmadow Town was yet to fall.
The Kenya Navy was meanwhile patrolling the Indian Ocean waters near Somalia to deter pirates.
October 20 2011
Kenyan troops head to Kisimayu after Ras Kiamboni take over
by NTVKenya on Oct 20, 2011
Kibaki vows to defend Kenya’s territory
President Kibaki and Chief of Defence Forces Julius Karangi during for the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi, October 20, 2011. The President vowed to defend Kenya’s territorial integrity. STEPHEN MUDIAR
President Kibaki has vowed to defend Kenya’s territorial integrity as Kenyan security forces take over Ras Kamboni in Somalia from al Shabaab militia.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced Kenya’s success in taking over Ras Kamboni during Mashujaa Day celebrations at the Nyayo National Stadium Thursday.
“We are fighting the criminal group. Today we have taken over Ras Kamboni. We will fight them until we are secure,” Mr Odinga said during the second Mashujaa Day which was formerly marked as Kenyatta Day.
Speaking for the first time since Kenya launched war on al Shabaab on Sunday, President Kibaki noted that the security of the country is paramount and that the government will provide adequate security in all parts.
“We will defend our territorial integrity through all measures necessary to ensure peace and stability,” the President said.
The Head of State, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, said Kenya’s security forces have began operations within and outside the country’s borders against militants who have sought to destabilise the nation.
“In this regard, we are working closely with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, IGAD and the African Union,” the President said.
The President hailed soldiers who are engaged in the operation dubbed “Operation Linda Nchi.”
“We pray for their safety and security as they embark on defending our country, as we decisively deal with this threat to our national security. These men and women are protecting our sovereignty. As a country we should support these brave modern day heroes,” the President said.
The President, however, said each Kenyan has a role to play to ensure “no one among us, is used to disrupt peace and stability.”
“We should all be vigilant and as true patriots, ensure that we identify the bad elements among us. The hospitality of the Kenyan people must never be abused by some bad elements.”
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka also commended the military led by Chief of Defence Forces Gen Julius Karangi for defending Kenya’s soil.
“Even our founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta said not even an inch of our country will be taken by anyone,” Mr Musyoka said.
He said Kenyans should be united as the country battles Al shabab adding that even Parliament was together with the President as the Commander in Chief.
He described Kenya’s military as courageous and prepared to ensure the country is protected.
Mr Odinga said al Shabab had brought myriad of problems to the country.
“We are fighting the militia responsible for kidnap and killing of our people. We want to secure our country,” Mr Odinga said.
On Wednesday, Kenya troops were pushing forward towards an al Shabaab stronghold of Afmadow in southern Somalia. However, the military thrust has been hampered by heavy rain.
The army has already captured Dhobley and Tabda, key al Shabaab towns. It ultimate target is Kismayu.
Kenya’s operation in Somalia started on Sunday.
October 20 2011