26 September 2011
National security officials were yesterday holed up in meetings to decide how to respond to a consignment of explosives impounded at the Malaba border as they entered Kenya from Uganda. Tension gripped Malaba town when 20 trucks said to be contracted by the United Nations entered Kenya without documentation, prompting the Kenya Revenue Authority officers to intercept them pending clearance.
Sources said the UN trucks were in transit from Wei in Southern Sudan to Karachi in Pakistan through Uganda and Mombasa. Customs officials said the manner in which the convoy entered Kenya was not unorthodox since they had not submitted the cargo documents earlier. “The Uganda People’s Defense Forces also failed to hand over the documents to Kenyan security personnel or alert us of the cargo,” said a police officer at the scene who can’t be named since he is not authorised to speak to the press.
They ordered the detention of the trucks until today pending the outcome of the security meetings. Kibui yesterday chaired an impromptu security meeting at Malaba that lasted over four hours at the KRA boardroom. The meeting was also attended by Teso North DC Josephine Onunga, OCPD Elphas Korir, DCIO Washington Muthee and officers from Uganda Revenue Authority.
Kibui declined to address the press after the meeting, saying he will comment over the matter later. He then entered his official car and sped off. However, reliable sources said the meeting agreed that the truck carrying the deadly weapons will be opened today and its contents verified before the trucks are released. The driver of one of the trucks, Abdurrahman Abdi, said they crossed the border into Kenya at 5 pm on Saturday after being escorted by Ugandan soldiers up to the no-man’s land where they were abandoned.
Border residents expressed fear that the cargo could be diverted into local hands and used by terrorists, thus endangering the lives of Kenyans. It remains unclear why explosives were being moved from Southern Sudan to Pakistan. None of the government officials or transporters were able to offer an explanation.