Kenya seizes UN trucks for allegedly ferrying food to Al-Shabaab
Kenyan authorities are holding three UN World Food Programmed (WFP) trucks in Mandera County near the Somali border for allegedly ferrying food supplies to Islamist militants Al-Shabaab in the Horn of Africa nation.
Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said Tuesday the security agents seized the trucks stashed with food items destined for Dolo in the Horn of Africa nation.
Shisia said WFP workers have started supplying food rations to the Al-Shabaab militants following a meeting at Bulla Hawa by Somali authorities.
“Following a meeting between Somalia National Army, Transitional Federal government officials and the Bulla Hawa community they agreed the Al-Shabaab also be given food rations from WFP, the government cannot allow this to happen as criminals who continue killing our people cannot be fed,” said Shisia.
He said the government which has been fighting the insurgents in southern Somalia will not allow food to be supplied to the same militants whom its troops have been fighting.
Shisia said the lorries which were held on Sunday will continue being under police custody until WFP clarifies its position.
The government administrator said the government is yet to receive WFP position on the issue and that the trucks will continue being detained.
“We will need to get an explanation from the WFP as to who are to who sole beneficiary of the food programme before we allow it to get into Somalia,” Shisia said.
The county boss disclosed that a truck that was in the same convoy and carrying a land cruiser was allowed to proceed to Dolo.
“We allowed the truck to proceed as this was not food, what we are doing is to deny our enemy benefit from the humanitarian assistance,” Shisia said. There was no comment from the UN WFP officials in Nairobi.
Kenya’s security forces have intensified patrols along its porous border with Somalia after the Somali militants attacked its base in Gedo region, killing several soldiers.
The Kenyan military has confirmed the deaths, but did not give the number of those killed in the Jan. 15 attack, saying efforts to “consolidate” returns from the battlefield were still ongoing.
However, Al-Shabaab forces said that more than 100 Kenyan soldiers were killed and several others injured a statement that has been disputed by AMISOM.