The globalization of terrorism over the last decade has created a situation in which the number one threat to international security is no longer strong, conquering states, but failing ones that provide safe havens for terrorist organizations. Drug trafficking in Africa reflects the heart of this concern. The illicit trade is both contributing to the deterioration of state institutions – which could result in state collapse – and financing terrorist groups like AQIM and Al-Shabaab. So far the international community has not treated the matter with the urgency it deserves. The consequences of inaction will be dire, as has already been seen in Central America. The region’s misfortune of being an important transit route between South American cocaine production centers and North American consumers has resulted in the highest murder rates in the world, fueled by transnational organized crime and drug trafficking. The statistics are astonishing: Among 20-year old men in some Central American countries, 1 in 50 will be murdered before they are 32. Africa, a region already replete with weak states, might be next if drug trafficking on the continent continues to grow.
Teodorin Obiang’s free ride is over. The son of the Equatorian dictator has had some of his wealth seized by the US government on suspicion of money laundering. For more on Equatorial Guinea read Ian Birrell‘s piece at the Guardian here.
Check out the Peter Gastrow Report on Transnational Organized Crime and State Erosion in Kenya. The juicy bits are between pages 47-50. The thick and thin of it is that very senior Kenyan politicians are implicated. For a related earlier post on drug trafficking click here.
Smith at African Confidential discusses the Kenyan involvement in Somalia, with an added section on the complexity of the intervention. He also raises questions about the link between al-Shabab and piracy and touches a bit on why the organization could yet find a fertile ground for recruitment on the Kenyan coast.
John Harun Mwau, William Kabogo, Gideon “Sonko” Mbuvi and Suleiman Joho are the four MPs suspected of being drug traffickers. Prof. George Saitoti, Minister for Internal Security, made the announcement in parliament. Of the four Mr. Mwau’s mention shocked me the most. For some reason I thought his wealth was exclusively from his business skills and sleaze during the Moi era. Messrs Mbuvi and Kabogo have always had rumors of shadiness around them, with the former being a bona fide jailbird. Other suspected MPs include Eugene Wamalwa and Simon Mbugua.
Drug use is on the rise in Kenyan urban centres. It is a shame that it took the intervention of the US Ambassador for the Kenyan security agencies to expose those involved in the destruction of Kenyan lives.
This is yet another example of how the people entrusted with the future of Kenya are the same ones actively undermining it through sleaze, negligence and outright criminality.