Jubaland and KDF troops foil Al-Shabaab attack in Somalia
KISMAYO, Somalia - Jubaland Special Forces in collaboration with their Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] partners foiled a would-be deadly Al-Shabaab attack on Monday night, officials said, in the latest successful mission in the fight against the Somalia-based militants.
The foiled attack was waged by the militants at Tabta area near a Kenya Defense Forces Forward Operating Base, which is located in Lower Jubba region, an area considered as an Al-Shabaab stronghold, which had however fallen into the joint military teams from Kenya and Somalia.
The heavy gunfight was heard according to locals when the Al-Shabaab tried to raid the military camp, but the team was met with resistance from the Jubaland security forces and those from KDF, in a fight that lasted for several hours, before the militants disappeared from the scene.
But until now, neither Al-Shabaab nor the joint security teams have confirmed the incident. However, the Al-Shabaab have often targeted military bases in Jubaland, with at least seven incidents being thwarted in the last four months, and KDF has been involved in all actions.
Jubaland forces work closely with the KDF team and their associations have often been successful. But the relationship between the two forces has often evoked sharp emotions from the Somali National Army, which accuses KDF of protecting the regional forces against Somalia's security operations.
Al-Shabaab has continued to wreak havoc in the Horn of Africa nation but has significantly lost grounds in recent weeks due to continued security operations across the country. The AMISOM forces and local security teams have played a key role in flushing out the militants.
KDF team is set to leave Somalia by 2021 after implementation of the Somali Transition Plan [STP] but there are suggestions that such moves must be first be guided by the outcome of the ongoing operations. There are close to 22,000 AMISOM forces in the country.
It's also envisaged that by that time, a strong SNA and regional forces would have been created in Somalia. The country has been struggling with instability for the last three decades following the ouster of military leader Mohamed Siad Barre.