KDF must an­swer claims

Business Daily (Kenya) - - EDITORIAL & OPINION -

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 Al­shabaab. 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 self­de­feat­ing. 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 non­com­pli­ance.

This time it should go be­yond mere de­nial

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