The Kenyan authorities say they are holding three trucks carrying food aid on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP) at the border with Somalia because of suspicions the supplies could fall into the hands of militants.
A senior regional official said on Wednesday in Nairobi that the trucks were being held because of the frequent attacks by al- Shabaab group across the border.
Mohamud Saleh, Regional Coordinator in the North Eastern region, said the vehicles were held on Monday in Mandera County along the border, awaiting reassurances from WFP Somalia that the food aid would not fall into the hands of the militants.
“We were a bit suspicious about where this food was going, because the last time we got information they took food across, the food was taken over by the terrorists, al Shabaab.
Saleh said government was a bit concerned, because last time the food meant for the most vulnerable in Somalia, those affected by drought, went into the hands of al Shabaab.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by more than two decades of conflict in Somalia, and more were forced out of their homes by a 2011 famine.
Basic public services are lacking and there is limited access for humanitarian aid.
Challiss McDonough, WEP, Senior Regional Spokeswoman in Nairobi, said the trucks had all the required paperwork from Kenyan authorities and that the UN agency carefully monitored its shipments to make sure it reached its intended recipients.
She said WFP was working with Kenyan officials to resolve the unfortunate misunderstanding.