A Kenyan pressure group says it has new evidence of the Kenyan military’s involvement in the illegal sugar and charcoal trade in Somalia.
In a report, the Journalists for Justice group says the Kenya Defence Forces, part of the African Union force in Somalia, make about $50m (£33m) a year from taxing charcoal as it leaves Somalia and sugar as it comes in through the port of Kismayo.
They also enable militant Islamist group al-Shabab to keep making money, as it too taxes charcoal and sugar coming in and out of the areas it controls in Somalia.
The report says an estimated 230 trucks of sugar leave Kismayo every week bound for Kenya, and that the smuggling routes are controlled by senior Kenyan officers.
The report also details how Kenyan air strikes, which the military says target al-Shabab bases, have also destroyed civilian villages, water points and livestock.
It says Kenya’s involvement in Somalia appears to be directly opposed to the mandate of the AU force to neutralise armed groups and disrupt “terrorist” financing.
The Kenyan military has denied the allegations.
It says there is no way it can be involved in business with al-Shabab, the very group it is trying to defeat.