Al-Shabaab militants on Monday morning suffered a heavy blow following an army operation by Jubaland forces bouyed by Kenya Defense Forces, reports indicate.
The raid on the Islamist militants comes a week after ten others were killed after an attempted raid at the Ballidogle military base which is manned by US African Command troops.
Reports by Garowe Online, one of the biggest media house in Somalia, say that at least 20 militants were killed at Abdalla Birole in the outskirts of Kismayo.
Two commanders were killed instantly by the troops amid escalating differences between Jubaland President Ahmed Madobe and federal government under Mohamed Farmaajo.
“Jubaland forces carry out an operation against Al-Shabab in villages near Abdalla Biroole, outside the port city of Kismayo, kill “20 militants”, including 2 senior commanders,” read the tweet.
Kismayo falls under KDF’s Sector 6 and 2 in the AMISOM arrangement. The Kenyan troops are responsible for training and logistical planning of Jubaland security forces.
Incidentally, the progress in the ward against Al-Shabaab comes at the time Somalia is embroiled in Indian Ocean dispute with Kenyan government.
While President Uhuru Kenyatta is for dialogue, Somalia insists on resolution by the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Macharia Kamau told The EastAfrican the time granted by the Court was not enough for Nairobi to prepare.
“It is the same request for the 12-month postponement that was being revisited, at the invitation of the Acting President of the case, because we only got 55 days last time which is simply unworkable for Kenya,” he said from The Hague where he accompanied Solicitor-General Ken Ogeto and other state counsel. The decision on the new request should come “very soon,” he said.
The crisis threatens relationship between Kenya and Somalia, with a possibility of premature withdrawal of KDF troops from the war torn nation.
And the Kenyan government is also at loggerheads with Somalia over election of Sheikh Madobe as Jubbaland president, a move that Mogadishu opposed despite an okay from Nairobi.