Kenya Defense Forces may be in Kismayu for the long haul, intelligence sources report after African Union Mission for Somalia AMISOM changed an earlier stance that sought the removal of Kenya Defense Forces from the port city of Kismayu.
Djibouti forces were to be deployed to Kismayu to replace the KDF who took the port city through an amphibious strike force in an operation code named sledge hammer.
AMISOM have denied the existence of these plans, an indicator of change of heart about who gaurds a highly volatile and violence prone port and region.
Allowing another component of the AMISOM command to enter Kismayu and guard it is suicidal.
The Ras-Kamboni militia which is pro-Kenya and has worked with the Kenya Defense Forces to liberate large swathes of Somalia’s south and central will not be certain about going to bed with a new fellow.
Ras Kamboni political nexus in the Somalia’s south and Central regions is powerful enough and goes beyond Somalia.
Any military force deployed there must work with the Ras-Kamboni and also the Kenya Defense Forces who understand both the geography and clan militia politics much better.
Also, the Kenya Defense Forces have both the air and sea capability to secure the vast South Somalia, another military force must deploy such resources to ensure effectiveness.
On the Kenyan border, KDF will want a battalion that can keep the Kenya-Somalia border free of Al-Shabaab militants or else they will be forced to redeploy in these areas.
AMISOM initial plan could not go past this scenario hence dismissed the Somalia government push to have KDF out of Kismayu and deploy non-partisan Djibouti army.
Djibouti which was hit by a terror attack may have also factored in terrorism in their decline to deploy. They may have also looked deep into the terrorism insurgency and clan militia politics and realized their troops would be sitting ducks in Kismayu.