Fall of Kismayo

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Fall of Kismayo
Part of the War in Somalia (2006–2009)
DateJanuary 1, 2007
Result Government forces take control of Kismayo
Islamic Courts Union
Pro-Islamist Militias
Foreign fighters
Flag of Somalia.svg Transitional Federal Government (TFG)
Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia
Commanders and leaders
Sharif Sheik Ahmed
Yusuf Hassan
Flag of Somalia.svg TFG: Barre Adan Shire Hiiraale
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Fall of Kismayo occurred on January 1, 2007, when the troops of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Ethiopian forces entered the Somali city of Kismayo unopposed. It came after the Islamic Courts Union's forces faltered and fled in the Battle of Jilib, abandoning their final stronghold.


The city of Kismayo had been the capital of the autonomous state of Jubaland under the administration of the Juba Valley Alliance (JVA) since the late 1990s. The JVA suffered the loss of Kismayo in September 2006 to an array of ICU forces with 130 technicals.[1][2]

Course of events[edit]

In December 2006, after the Fall of Mogadishu, much of the ICU forces began a retreat towards Kismayo. But when the Battle of Jilib began on December 31, 2006, clan elders within Kismayo demanded the ICU leave the city. Mohammed Arab, a clan leader said "We told them that they were going to lose, and that our city would get destroyed."[3] After the ICU refused, sporadic gun battles broke out between the local clans and the ICU.

The Battle of Jilib saw the ICU frontlines collapse during the night to artillery fire, causing the ICU hardliners, known as Al-Shabaab (literally "The Youths" or "Young Men"[4][5]), to once again go into retreat, this time towards the Kenyan border. TFG and Ethiopian forces entered the town on January 1, 2007.[6]

With the Kenyan border blocked, the ICU remnants were described as holding up in Badhadhe district, either in the hills of the Buur Gaabo area, or in the village of Ras Kamboni along the coast near the border.[7]


In August 2008, Al-Shabab retook the city during the Battle of Kismayo (2008).

In September 2012, the Somali National Army assisted by AMISOM troops and Raskamboni militia re-captured Kismayo from the insurgents in the Battle of Kismayo (2012).[8][9]


  1. ^ Somalia's Islamists Resume Their Momentum and Embark on a Diplomatic Path Archived 2009-04-22 at the Wayback Machine PINR
  2. ^ Witnesses: Somali Islamists advance on key port Archived 2015-02-13 at the Wayback Machine. Associated Press, 13 September 2006
  3. ^ Gentleman, Jeffrey (2006-12-31). "Islamists, Cornered in Somalia, Lose Local Support". The New York Times. Retrieved 2002-01-02.
  4. ^ America’s Somali Policy Still Dangerously Adrift Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
  5. ^ Washington’s Self-Defeating Somalia Policy Archived 2007-01-08 at the Wayback Machine Matt Bryden
  6. ^ Rice, Xan (2006-01-02). "Somalia's Islamist fighters flee last urban base as pro-government alliance closes in". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2002-01-02.
  7. ^ Somalia disarmament starts, Kenya blocks Islamists Reuters
  8. ^ "Kenyan forces attack last remaining stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia". Associated Press. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  9. ^ Chonghaile, Clar Ni (28 September 2012). "Kenyan troops launch beach assault on Somali city of Kismayo". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Stig Jarle Hansen, Al-Shabaab in Somalia: The History and Ideology of a Militant Islamic Group 2005-12, Hurst & Co., 2013, 39-40.