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Opinion & Analysis

EDITORIAL: KDF must answer claims

Kismayu traders in Somalia selling charcoal on May 21, 2013. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Kismayu traders in Somalia selling charcoal on May 21, 2013. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

Yet again, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) is being accused by a UN panel of failing to enforce a ban on charcoal exports by Somalia’s Al-Shabaab.

It is dumbfounding that KDF is facing the same accusations levelled on it a year ago, and the year before, which it promptly denied in both cases.

Certainly there is a lot that KDF needs to explain; especially when an organisation as credible as the UN makes the same allegations multiple times.

It is in the public and indeed KDF’s best interest to explain how it is actively implementing or complying with the UN Security’s Council ban on the illegal charcoal exports in Somalia.

It would be against all logic if indeed KDF has abetted or colluded with Al-Shabaab militants to allow illegal charcoal trade.

Such a move would be self-defeating. This is because while the proceeds from the illegal trade may benefit a number of individuals, it hurts troop operations in Somalia, who are there to fight the same enemy they would seem to be helping.

In fact, the UN has cited the Shabaab attack on a KDF base at Kulbiyow on the Kenya-Somalia border, in which at least 67 soldiers were killed.

Besides, the UN notes, Shabaab militants have killed scores of civilians and security officers in Kenya in the past two years.

If KDF has nothing to hide, this time it should go beyond mere denial, by actively explaining all the issues that have been raised on its non-compliance.

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