Government dismisses UN report on KDF operations

The Kenyan government has dismissed a United Nations (UN) report linking the Kenya Defence Forces to illicit charcoal trade in Somalia.

 

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu condemned the report, saying it was an attempt aimed at demoralising Kenyan troops.

“I want to take this early opportunity to condemn in the strongest terms possible this latest attempt to link the men and women in uniform defending our nation from aggression and evil forces,” Esipisu said.

Esipisu said the UN report quoted faceless people and non-governmental organisations.

He maintained the government would not be distracted by the latest hogwash masquerading as research.

UN report

The report indicated Kenyan forces in Somalia were receiving fees for allowing illicit exports of charcoal from a port under their control.

According to the report, Kenyan troops assigned to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) receive $2 (Sh202) per bag of charcoal loaded at the port of Kismayu.

The report estimates that up to six million bags of charcoal have been exported annually from Kismayu and Buur Gaabo, another port that is adjacent to a Kenyan base.

“The Kenyan contingent of Amisom continues to play a substantial role in the illicit export of charcoal from Somalia,” the UN monitoring group declares in its 247-page report.

“Just as recently in the case of our involvement in South Sudan, no one thought that it was necessary to speak to Kenyan authorities about the case,” Esipisu said.

Relations between the UN and Kenya have in the past week turned frosty after the government announced KDF’s troop withdrawal from South Sudan after Lt-Gen Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki was dismissed as the commander of the peacekeeping force.

President Uhuru Kenyatta last week slammed the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for Lt-Gen Ondieki’s sacking.

Uhuru said Kenya will not work with the UN in South Sudan because it “has now resorted to scapegoating Kenyans”.

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