AMISOM force commander Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn is today heading to Kismayu barely 24 hours after an Ethiopian military copter was blocked from landing in the southern city by a combined force of Kenyan and Jubbaland forces.
Sources say Gen. Wondimhunegn, an Ethiopian himself is expected to negotiate for the Ethiopian troops to be allowed into Kismayu ahead of presidential elections in two days’ time.
Hiiraan Online has learnt that the plane which failed to land in Kismayu Monday rerouted to Baidoa where Ethiopia has a heavy military presence inside and outside AMISOM. These troops were instrumental in securing a win for the Federal Government in December after they arrested and whisked away Mukhtar Robow a key candidate to Mogadishu.
Meanwhile the newly elected Jubbaland parliament has now taken charge of the presidential elections with the assembly speaker expected to set up a team to oversee the elections. The state electoral body JIBEC said it will provide support role to the legislative body in conducting the polls.
With parliament taking over the electoral process, the dye is almost cast in favour of the incumbent Ahmed Madobe who has a considerable sway in the new assembly.