Kismayo (kĭsmĪˈō) [key] or Kismayu kĭsmĪˈō, town (1984 est. pop. 70,000), SW Somalia, on the Indian Ocean. It is the principal town and port of the Jubbada Hoose region. Kismayo was founded in 1872 by the sultan of Zanzibar, passed to Great Britain in 1887, and was held until 1924, when it was transferred to Italian control. The town has several mosques and a palace that was constructed by the sultan.