The government has impounded three World Food Programme trucks for allegedly ferrying food to Al-Shabaab, Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia has said.
Speaking in his office on Tuesday, Mr Shisia said the trucks, destined for Dholo, Somalia, are suspected to be carrying food and other logistical equipment for the terror group.
“We have stopped transiting of WFP consignment because of allegations that there was a meeting between the community and Somalia government to the effect that Al-Shabab be allowed to pick food and other logistical arrangement undeterred,” he said.
He said the government was not willing to allow the Al-Shabab to replenish their logistics and then turn on Kenya, threatening its security and people.
“We need an explanation from WFP as to who is the sole beneficiary of the food programme before we allow it to get into Somalia,” said Mr Shisia.
He said the WFP was doing a good job but their arrangements on the ground are not clear and it is suspected the NGO could be feeding the government’s enemy.
“We will not allow or assist anybody from our end if those benefiting on the food programme are militants who later turn against our country,” said Mr Shisia.
He said a fourth truck, ferrying a Toyota Land Cruiser, was allowed to proceed into Somalia but the three were held with unknown quantity of what is said to be foodstuff on Saturday.
The move has caused much tension since Sunday after it was alleged that the group had dispatched its members to carry out attacks in Mandera town and get the trucks.
“On Sunday there was a message wanting NGOs (to get) out of Mandera. These are antics of Al-Shabaab and we appeal to NGOs to confirm with us the authenticity of such messages.