The autonomous federal state of Jubaland in southern Somalia has blocked access to its capital city Kismayo and suspended all operations at Kismayo Airport (KMU) ahead of presidential elections on Thursday, August 22. Jubaland Vice President Mohamud Sayid Aden stated that the security measures have been implemented to prevent the Somali federal government from interfering in Thursday's vote. Mogadishu has said it will not recognize the outcome of the election, which may lead to heightened tensions in the wake of the vote. The lockdown on Kismayo and its airport is expected to be lifted on Friday, August 22.
Jubaland President Ahmed Mohamed Madobe, who is seeking re-election in Thursday's election, will compete against three other candidates. Since taking office in 2013, Madobe has strengthened security ties with neighboring Kenya, while Mogadishu has increasingly aligned itself with Ethiopia.
Individuals in Kismayo are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate associated political protests leading up to elections and heightened security measures, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and home governments.
The security environment in Somalia remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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