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Extensive Definition

Kismayo or Kismayu (lang-so Kismaayo; , ; lang-it Chisimaio) is a port city in the Jubbada Hoose region of Somalia and is the country's third largest city (after Mogadishu and Hargeisa. It is situated 328 miles (528 km) southwest of Mogadishu, near the mouth of the Jubba River, where that river flows into the Indian Ocean. As of 2007, the population is calculated to be around 700,000.


The city, along with the surrounding region, was ruled by the Zanzibar sultans in 1835. From 1875 to 1876, Kismayu was occupied by Ottoman Egypt under Isma'il Pasha. It was part of Trans-Juba, which belonged to the British, from July 1, 1895, as part of the East Africa Company's East Africa Protectorate. On July 15, 1924, it was ceded to Italy and became part of the Colony of Trans-Juba (Oltre Giuba). In 1926, the area was incorporated into the colony of Italian Somaliland, and became the capital of its Trans-Juba province.


The city is divided into five degmo, or districts, namely Farjano, Faanoole, Siinaay, Shaqaalaha and Calanleey. Because the city started with Calenleey, it is the oldest of all four districts. The district is home to a diverse group of Somalis, including the Baajuun, Hindi (Indian), Carab (Arabs), Mushunguli (Bantu), Barawaani (Bravanese), and many other minorities.

Somali Civil War

After the former Somali President Siad Barre was overthrown, Kismayo became a city in constant turmoil, fought over by warring clans vying for control of the area. There was prolonged fight for control of the city among various tribes.

Islamic Courts Union

On January 16, 2006, nine people were killed in heavy fighting, between factions of the Jubba Valley Alliance, for control of Kismayo. On September 24, 2006, Kismayo was invaded by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU).

War in Somalia

Following a great loss of territory to an Ethiopian-TFG army in December 2006, the ICU first retreated to the capital, Mogadishu, but abandoned Mogadishu without conflict on 28 December 2006, moving south towards Kismayo and allowing TFG and Ethiopian troops to take over the capital. It was feared that the ICU would make a defiant last stand in Kismayu. When the Battle of Jilib began on 31 December 2006, clan elders within Kismayo reportedly demanded that 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." However, a mutiny within the ICU caused their forces to disintegrate, and abandon both Jilib and Kismayo. They were reported to be fleeing towards the Kenyan border. As of December, 2007, th ICU forces have taken control of about half of the city, around half the districts of Mogadishu, and totalling around 80% of their former territories, leaving the the Ethopiean-backed regime in the same precarious situation as it was in Baidoa at the start of 2007.

See also


External links

chisimaio in German: Kismaayo
chisimaio in Estonian: Kismaayo
chisimaio in Spanish: Kismaayo
chisimaio in French: Kismaayo
chisimaio in Indonesian: Kismaayo
chisimaio in Italian: Chisimaio
chisimaio in Swahili (macrolanguage): Kismayu
chisimaio in Dutch: Kismayo
chisimaio in Japanese: キスマヨ
chisimaio in Polish: Kisimaju
chisimaio in Portuguese: Kismayo
chisimaio in Romanian: Kismayo
chisimaio in Somali: Kismaayo
chisimaio in Finnish: Kismayo
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