Kenya Defense Forces have been put on spot once again over their role in bringing down infrastructural development at war-torn Somalia.
Operating under AMISOM, the defence forces have been accused of destroying telecommunication equipment worth Sh250 million, according to a report that was tabled on Thursday in Somalia parliament.
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.
KDF is plotting a strategic exit from Somalia after the government revealed intentions to pull out by 2021. By then, the troops would have served in the Horn of Africa for a whopping 10 years.
Kenyan parliament passed a motion allowing the troops to cross over the border in 2011, then under the leadership of General Julius Karangi. The troops were absorbed by AMISOM three years later but have been embroiled in endless wrangles with those from other nations.
General Samson Mwathethe, who took over in 2015, is expected to hand over to a new Chief of Defense Forces after his term expired a fortnight ago. The incoming boss would oversee the strategic exit from Somalia.
Kenya has suffered heavy casualties in the operation with over 200 soldiers dying at El Adde in 2016. However, the soldiers have managed to liberate several towns including Kismayu, the hotbed of Al-Shabaab militants.