Most Kenyan Troops to Leave Kismayo, to be Replaced by Forces from Sierra Leone

NAIROBI, KENYA (AP) –  A Kenyan military spokesman says most Kenyan troops will soon leave Somalia’s port city of Kismayo which they have controlled since September 2012 after ousting al-Qaida-linked militants.

Col. Willy Wesonga said Friday the Kenyan army will leave Kismayo “soon.” Wesonga said Sierra Leonean forces will replace the Kenyans who will move to the Gedo region. He said only small Kenyan units will remain in Kismayo.

The announcement comes as Kenyan forces are accused of misconduct including that they backed one Somali militia against others in Kismayo. The Mogadishu-based Somali government demanded a more neutral force in Kismayo.

Kenya is among several African countries that have troops in Somalia in the African Union’s joint force that is backing the country’s weak government against a rebellion by the Islamic extremists of al-Shabab.

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