By Simon Ndonga,
Kenya on Saturday dismissed a report by the United Nations exonerating Eritrea from claims that it funded the Al Shabaab militia with both monetary and ammunitions support against the Kenya defence forces saying it is one sided.
Speaking during a press briefing on the war in Somalia, Foreign Affairs Ministry Director of the Horn of Africa Division Lindsey Kiptiness said that no one has come to Kenya to investigate the claims.
“In as far as we are concerned I don’t think it is accurate that report has been taken to UN. I don’t think that is true. Simply because I am also reading stories from papers like you,” Kiptiness said.
“If Kenya did allege that Eritrea sent three plane loads of arms to Al Shabaab, the UN has been undertaking an investigation. They have not come to us. So I don’t know how the report has already been made to the UN before they come to the other side of the story.”
He discredited the report saying that for it to be objective, thorough investigations need to be undertaken.
“We are still waiting for them to come, and if they come we will give our report accordingly. Let’s wait until they come to our side otherwise that would be a one sided story,” he said. “If somebody has leaked such a report then I consider it to be just that…until they get to hear our side of the story.”
He said Kenya is ready and willing to cooperate with the UN should it wish to clarify any information about the claims against Eritrea.
The UN had discounted reports that Eritrea supplied weapons to the al-Shabaab to fight Kenyan troops last year.
A preliminary report by the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) concluded that the allegations were untrue. Part of the report stated that after the SEMG’s preliminary assessment, the allegations were incorrect and that the alleged deliveries to Baidoa probably did not take place.
The monitoring group also pursued its investigation into alleged arms deliveries by air to the Al Shabaab controlled airfields in southern Somalia in late October and early November 2011.
Kenya had accused Eritrea of delivering arms to the Al Qaeda-linked Islamists and reported the matter to the Security Council through the regional Inter Governmental Authority on Development.
Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula had also summoned Eritrean ambassador to Kenya Beyene Russom to his office to explain Asmara’s alleged links to the militants.
Eritrea through its Foreign Affairs ministry however vehemently denied the claims branding them as part of Ethiopia’s campaign of misinformation to discredit Asmara.
The Eritrean embassy in Nairobi had further demanded independent investigations into the matter to be conducted by UNSC to the above mentioned allegation and all other unfounded related accusations.