The Daily Nation in Kenya reported on 1st July that a significant amount of sugar consumed in the country is contraband Brazilian product imported via the Kismayu port and smuggled in through the porous Somalia border. A December 2017 study by a Danish think-tank shows how political, business, bureaucratic and security interests in Somalia and Kenya are fuelling the smuggling that threatens Kenya’s political and economic stability. The study was funded by the Danish Consultative Research Committee for Development (FFU) and published by the Danish Institute for International Studies and Centre for African Economics. The report is said to name a former governor and a leading politician from northern Kenya as some of the top politicians involved in the trade, and that there are at least 70 businessmen in Kismayu, Garissa and Nairobi who operate lucrative rings that earn them millions of dollars a year. The smugglers have hundreds of trucks that operate between Garissa and Kismayu. The study says the Kenyan military, its Somali allies and Al-Shabaab militants are cooperating on the trade. From Kismayu, which has been under the control of the Kenya Defence Forces since 2012, the sugar passes through Al-Shabaab controlled territory to Garissa and Nairobi where it is repackaged and sold as a local product. The newspaper says that some 1.2 million bags of sugar have been seized by police in the past fortnight. Al-Shabaab’s main income formerly came from charcoal, but this has since shifted to sugar as it has become easier for them to control the transportation and levying of taxes along the route from Kismayu into Kenya.
The report itself can be accessed at –