Garowe Online (Garowe)

Somalia: Ras Kamboni Spokesman Denies Reports of Clashes in Kismayo

Kismayo — Spokesman for the Ras Kamboni government forces stated that contrary to reports on Friday there were no clashes in the liberated port city of Kismayo, Garowe Online reports.

Many Somali media outlets reported, "heavy fighting" in the city of Kismayo between Somali troops backed by Kenyan forces and Al Shabaab fighters.

Abdinasir Seraar Spokesman for the Ras Kamboni forces who were incorporated into the Somali Federal government troops last month, said that the reports were false and that there was no fighting in Kismayo.

"The reports are fabrications, there were no clashes in the city, but there were operations carried out by forces in which people were arrested," said Mr. Seraar.

The spokesman continued to say that the operations were conducted without any resistance or fighting.

Some Somali analysts who spoke to GO believe that the information was leaked to Somali media in order to inveigh the Jubaland state formation and revive a dying insurgency in the region.

"The state formation is in progress and near finish, the opposing groups be it Al Shabaab or others are doing everything in their power to balk the process and create an impression of instability in the region," said Hamza Aideed a Somali analyst in Bossaso.

Kenyan troops - under the UN Security Council mandated AMISOM - and Somali forces captured the port city of Kismayo late September. The allied forces have been securing the former Al Shabaab stronghold of Kismayo.

The federal state formation process of Jubaland, backed by East African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has been a consultative process involving the local communities of Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba and Gedo region.

Gedo region was the scene of an Al Shabaab attack on Saturday targeting a delegation from the Federal Government.

Minister of Defense Abdihakin Mohamud Haji Fiqi leading a delegation of officials landed in the city of Garbaharey in Gedo region on Saturday.

Governor of Gedo region Mohamed Abdi Kalil said that Al Shabaab fighters attacked federal government troops in Garbaharey that led to a brief exchange. The Al Shabaab fighters reportedly retreated after the exchange.

The government delegation was not harmed in the exchange and Minister Fiqi who spoke to Somali media said that they had visited the city to discuss military salaries and other affairs.

Somali forces, both Kenyan and Ethiopian troops are battling Al Shabaab in villages in the Gedo region.

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