Sabahi (Washington, DC)

13 January 2013

Kenya: Interim Kismayo Administration Prioritises Governance

Kismayo needs a permanent administration to address pressing problems such as an absence of food production and humanitarian assistance, head of the city's interim administration Ahmed Mohamed Islam said on Sunday (January 13th).

"The security of the city is good. The biggest problem is how to solve the city's politics," Islam said in an interview with Kenya's The Standard. He urged clan representatives to form a leadership capable of tackling these issues, and pledged that the interim administration would hand over power when the time is appropriate.

Infrastructure in Kismayo needs attention and electricity and water remain intermittent, Islam said.

Although the city is generally safe, he said al-Shabaab attacks still pose a threat, with militants carrying out grenade attacks and targeted assassinations. "People are at the greatest risk when going to or leaving the mosque," he said. "Al-Shabaab's message is not based on Islam; it is misguided ideology. They are driving people away from their religion."

The Somali National Army, with backing from the African Union Mission in Somalia, pushed al-Shabaab out of Kismayo in September 2012, though the militants maintain bases around the city.

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