London, Dec 9(ANI): The United States believes that China was providing military and intelligence support to Kenya with the help of a corrupt official, according to classified US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower website Wikileaks.
According to the Guardian, a 17 February memo from the US Embassy in Nairobi said that China was providing weapons to Kenya "in support of its Somalia policies".
The hardware was in support of Kenya's 'Jubaland initiative'.
Jubaland is the southern-most Somali province borderng Kenya.
It was also providing computers and telecommunications equipment to the Kenyan National Security and Intelligence Service (NSIS).he cable said that, in January, China provided "weapons, ammunition, supplies, and textiles for making uniforms" via the Chinese military import-export corporation Catic.
A separate cable alleged that the deal was done after the Kenyan telecoms company was pressured to do so by the intelligence services.
The cable goes on to allege that one senior intelligence service officer received kickbacks from the Chinese company while on a visit to China.
Another "received monthly payments of over 5,000 dollars from [the Chinese company] which were used to pay medical bills," the cable said.
The cable said that China's involvement in Kenya was expected to grow given its strategic location.
"If oil or gas is found in Kenya, this engagement will likely grow even faster. Kenya's leadership may be tempted to move ever closer to China in an effort to shield itself from western, and principally US, pressure to reform," the cable said.
"Given the possibility of a backlash by the Kenyan people against China, perhaps over the issue of imported Chinese labour or mishandling of natural resources, there may be benefits to keeping our distance, at least publicly, from China," it added.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Kenyan government has described the bribery allegations as "preposterous and out of sync with reality".
"Allegations of money being given for medical purposes are baseless. We can only conclude that the cable was based on assumptions or manufactured analysis and have no bearing as far as we can ascertain," the spokesman said. (ANI)