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Kenyan leader dismisses claims troops involved in illicit trade in Somalia

16 November 2015, 21:29

Bungoma - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday dismissed claims that the country's troops who are part of the Africa Union forces in Somalia were involved in illicit sugar and charcoal trade.

Kenyatta termed the allegations that the Kenyan soldiers in Somalia were collaborating with Al-Shabaab in the illegal charcoal and sugar trade, that recently appeared in some sections of the press, as "most ridiculous and misplaced."

He instead assured the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and other security agencies of support as they go about defending and protecting the country from criminals.

"We will stand firm with our security agents because we know the important role they play in keeping our country safe," said Kenyatta who is on a tour of Bungoma County in Western region.

Kenyatta said it was unfortunate that there were some Kenyan leaders who, instead of encouraging the KDF to remain firm in their commitment to protecting the country, had join the bandwagon of those criticizing the country's security agents.

Also read: Kenyan delegation in the UK to negotiate for Ruto ICC release

"Instead of commending our security forces who are making major sacrifices to defend and guard the country against terrorists, some Kenyan leaders are discouraging them by supporting the misplaced allegations," he said.

The report which was launched in Nairobi on Thursday by Journalists For Justice (JFJ) rights group says the KDF is involved in a 400 million U.S. dollars sugar and charcoal smuggling business that funds Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.

Kenyatta said Kenyans are fully behind the KDF and they will not allow criminals kill innocent people.

"You saw what happened in Paris where more than 150 people were killed by terrorists. Would you like us to allow these people to move freely in our country and harm us? Of course not," Kenyatta said.

The Kenyan leader urged citizens to report to the authorities any suspicious persons before they carry out their evil intentions.

"That is why we insist that our military and other Kenyan security agents must be give room to carry out their work without political interference," he added.


- Xinhua

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