Kenyan forces destroyed telco equipment worth $2.5m in Somalia since 2012- Parliamentary report

Kenya Defence Forces serving under Amisom destroyed communication infrastructure belonging to two telecommunication companies in Somalia valued at close to $2.5 million in the last seven years, a new parliamentary report has indicated.

The Lower House Posts and Telecommunication Committee said in a report tabled before the House Thursday the Kenyan forces destroyed telecommunication masts, solar panels, generators and fuel tank reserves belonging to Hormud Telcom and Somtel valued at $ 2, 493,410 between 2012 and 2019.

Hormuud Telecom which suffered most of the losses has complained severally of damages suffered from Kenyan forces in Gedo region.

According to the report, the first assault on telecommunication masts by KDF started a year after the Kenyan troops entered Somalia. The masts destroyed at Dhegalab village in Bardhere district on October 5, 2012, was valued at $255,528.16.

This was followed by another destruction of a mast in Khadija Haji village in Beledhawo in the Kenya-Somalia border September 17, 2017, with the telco incurring a loss of $ 388, 344.34.

The report documents 9 cases which include destruction of telecommunication masts, generators solar panels and fuel tank reserves. Only one case involving Somtel is recorded in which case Kenyan forces damaged a mast in Jadleyse village on March 27, 2017. The damaged property was valued at $ 165,760.

However, Hormuud Telecom has indicated in the past the damages on its property alone have been more than 10. In a statement March 27, the telco which is the largest in the country said KDF had destroyed masts in Jaldeyse, in Afmadow which was the tenth since July 2018.

The Telco said it was ‘gathering forensic evidence to assist the efforts of any willing investigation body’.

Other cases captured by the report are as follows:

January 20, 2018: Kenyan forces set a mine destroying Hormuud mast in Elbade VCillage in Gedo region worth $ 307,594.36

March 2, 2018: KDF destroys entire telecommunication site in Elwak valued at $ 390,410.56.

March 3, 2018: KDF destroy mast in Dhuuntow village in Elwak valued at $ 267,778.16

August 13, 2018: KDF destroyed solar panels, towers and engines in Ali-Buley village in Doobley causing a loss of $298,461.16.

January 1, 2019: KDF forces arrive at Jaldeyse junction between Qoqani and Dhobley, destroy all communication equipment including solar panels, batteries and fuel tank reserves.

In total, the alleged destruction in Dhegalaab, Khadija Hajji, El Gande, Dhamase, Dhumunow, Ali-Buley, Dhuac, Garon and Jalalaqsi caused a loss of $ 2,493,410.76 to the two telcos.

AMISOM spokesman Lt Colonel Richard Omwega reached in Nairobi said he could not comment on the report since he had no information regarding and that a new spokesperson would be better placed to respond when they arrive in Mogadishu next week.

Kenya rehated to AMISOM in July 6, 2012, after entering Somalia October 2011.



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