Seven years ago, the elite Kenya Defence forces launched an offensive operation in Somalia’s Kismayo town against Al Shabaab.
The liberation of the seaport code-named Operation Sledge Hammer saw KDF launch both air, land and sea assaults to wrestle the group that had taken over operations at the port.
This operation, which was a defining moment for Kenya’s uniformed men and women, marked the turning point of Operation Linda Nchi that announced Kenya’s entry into Somalia to crash the Al Shabaab.
Kismayo is a port city in the southern Lower Juba province of Somalia.
It is the commercial capital of the autonomous Jubaland region.
The city is situated 528 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu, near the mouth of the Jubba River, where the waters empty into the Somali Sea.
Throughout 2007 and 2008, Al Shabaab scored military victories, seizing control of key towns and ports in both central and southern Somalia.
By January 2009, the group and other militias had managed to force the Ethiopian troops to retreat, leaving behind an under-equipped African Union peacekeeping force to assist the Transitional Federal Government’s troops.