Kenyan troops from the African Union force in Somalia entered the southern port of Kismayo for the first time on Monday, witnesses said, three days after launching a beach assault that led Islamist insurgents to pull out.
“They arrived from the west of the city and are taking up positions,” Aden Ismail, a local trader said. The report was confirmed by at least two other residents.
Asha Mohamed Aden, a seller of second-hand clothing, said she had seen “heavily armed Kenyans” entering the city along with Somali officers.
“They are carrying a lot of weapons,” she said.
“Some people are happy to welcome them because they were fed up with the misrule” of the Shebab Islamists, another resident Abdullahi Farey Hassan said by telephone.
“But I will have my reservations until I see them doing something good. I hope they will be better than the Shebab,” he said.
The Shebab said on Saturday they had vacated the port city – their last major stronghold – following a beach assault the previous day by Kenyan forces.