A new report has confirmed the allegations that that the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), has been engaging in clandestine business in Somalia.
The report by Nairobi’s Journalists for Justice Rights Group, indicates that Kenya’s army is involved in a Sh40 billion sugar smuggling racket in Somalia that also funds the Al-Qaeda militants it is supposed to be fighting.
It’s estimated that the total value of illegal sugar smuggling to Kenya is between $200 million and $400 million (Sh20 billion to Sh40 billion).
CHARCOAL SMUGGLING IN KISMAYO
KDF is also reported to tax every sack of charcoal that leaves and every sack of sugar that arrives at Kismayo, earning an estimated $50 million (46 million euros) a year.
The allegations touching on KDF’s misconduct emerged in 2012 where it was alleged that after taking control of the port of Kismayu in Somalia, the Kenya army engaged in the illegal export and import of banned or smuggled goods from the port instead of putting a stop to the illicit business, which Al-shaabab relied on for their funding.
Successive reports by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, which investigates terrorist financing and infringements of an arms embargo, profits from the charcoal trade (which has been banned by the United Nations) are shared by the Kenyan forces, the interim Jubba Administration headed by Madobe, and Al-Shabaab”.
The Jubaland administration and the Shabaab also tax charcoal and the sugar trucks driving from Kismayu to the Kenyan border at Dhobley-Liboi.
“The illicit conflict economy is benefitting both Al-Shabaab and those ostensibly opposing them,” the report said.
The group accuses an unnamed “high ranking military official” of running a sugar smuggling network that enjoys “the protection and tacit cooperation” of Kenya’s political leaders.
HUMAN RIGHTS ATROCITIES
The report also accused Kenyan troops of “widespread” human rights abuses — including rape, torture and abduction — and conducting air strikes “targeting crowds of people and animals” rather than the militant training camps it claims to bomb.
KDF was deployed in Somalia in 2011 to counter the Al-shabaab terror group, which has launched several attacks in Kenya demanding for the KDF to be pulled out of Somalia.