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KDF denies involvement in charcoal scandal

13 November 2015, 15:04 Dennis Omido

Nairobi - Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesperson, Colonel David Obonyo says Kenyan soldiers are not involved in illegal charcoal trade in Somalia as alleged by the recently released Journalists for Justice (JFJ) report.

Speaking in Nairobi Thursday, Obonyo said there was a sinister motive behind the compilation of the report and accused its authors of tainting KDF’s image.

“I take issues with the authors of this report because they had other intentions while compiling this report,” Obonyo said.

According to him, Kismayo is being controlled by Amisom and not KDF as the report dubbed ‘Black and White’ claimed.

“We stopped being KDF in Somalia in 2012 when we joined the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and we haven’t received such allegations from AMISOM against our soldiers,” Obonyo said.

Read Also: Kenya mourns death of nation's unsung hero

However, Obonyo said that KDF is willing to investigate the claims because it has a self disciplinary mechanism that deals with errant officers if they are found to have committed a crime.

Defence Cabinet Secretary, Raychelle Omamo also defended KDF saying the report was aimed at creating hostility against Kenyan troops in Somalia.

“These reports are not new, they are a consistent fabrication of KDF’s role in restoring peace in Somalia. The origin and entire purpose of the report is to create hostility against KDF troops in Somalia discord within Somali authorities. However, this has not succeeded due to KDF’s professionalism,” Omamo said in a statement on Thursday.

JFJ’ Programmes Director, Kwamchesti Makokha lamented that they had received hostile response since the release of the report, yet they just presented what they observed on the ground.

He urged KDF to carry out its own investigations into the allegations and take necessary action.

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