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10/10/08 (B469) The Nation de Nairobi. Le porte-parole du Gouvernement Kenyan affirme que les autorités ne changeront pas de version, sous la pression médiatique, en ce qui concerne la destination des armes convoyées par le Faina. Kenya will not budge to media pressure to explain the destination of the hijacked arms aboard a Ukrainian ship, Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua said on Thursday.(En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Addressing the weekly press briefing at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Dr Mutua said the Government owed no one an explanation over the controversial acronym on the freight manifest.

The acronym, GOSS, was thought to stand for Government of Southern Sudan, but the Government has since termed it as a military acronym standing for General Ordinance and Security Supplies.

« We’ll not be drawn into a simplified debate that is just mere speculation, » Dr Mutua said.

He echoed Wednesday’s remarks by the Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula that security contracts will not be discussed in the media.

After a quick search on the Internet, 22 relevant hits were made, but the Government’s expansion of the GOSS acronym was conspicuously absent.

Ordnance, which could be what the Governments wants to mean, refers to military hardware, but the mere fact that such an expansion cannot be verified, especially with the Defence headquarters keeping mum over the issue, has raised doubts over the Government’s explanation.

There were also reports attributed to military men who insist that they have never heard the Government’s version of the expanded acronym.

The Nation has since established that the tanks started passing through Mombasa last year.

On November 2, a train carrying 17 T-72 tanks derailed at Kokotoni, about 30 kilometres from Mombasa, damaging five of them.

The accident which happened shortly after 4am prompted a military security operation at the scene. The area was sealed off and army officers prevented the Press from taking pictures.

Then, on January 25, this year, 33 more tanks were ferried by train from the port during the height of the post-election violence.

As the conflicting reports continue to emerge, the ship, MV Faina, captured with the military hardware –33 T72 tanks, grenade launchers and anti-aircraft guns– is still moored at the Somalia Coast near Hobyo port, under surveillance from US and Kenyan forces.

Meanwhile, the Government’s spokesman termed Tuesday’s deportation of American author Jerome Corsi as a chance to show the world that the days of neo-colonialism were over.

« He came here as a tourist, he should have stayed as one… we have no apologies, » he said.

The writer was arrested on Tuesday morning as he prepared to address a news conference to launch his book, The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality, and taken to the Immigration headquarters at Nyayo House.

He was later deported on a British Airways midnight flight out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The book has been heavily criticised worldwide for its inaccuracies.

« People tend to despise our country [forgetting that] we are not a colony anymore, » Dr Mutua said