KDF owed $35 million in Al-Shabaab war in Somalia

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Kenya is yet to receive close to $35 million from the international partners, who are integral in financing the Al-Shabaab war in Somalia, where the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] are key security partners according to a report published by Business Daily.

According to the report, Kenya is yet to receive the balances which date back to the months of June 2020 to March 2021, thus falling short of the targets in the budget, which is financed by the well-wishers on the fight against Al-Shabaab militants.

Kenya first invaded Somalia in 2011 under Operation Linda Nchi and the troops were absorbed by the African Union a year later, to serve in AMISOM. There are close to 3,500 KDF troops serving in Sectors II and IV of AMISOM in Somalia.

Treasury says the European Union and other key funders wired about $33 million instead of $68 million thus leading to the deficit. The troops are paid by the international partners through the government of Kenya.

The EU funds largely cater for allowances for the AMISOM troops and police, international and local civilian staff salaries, and operational costs of their offices.

The United Nations Support Office in Somalia, on the other hand, provides logistical field support to the Amisom troops and Somali National Security Forces during joint operations.

The 15-member African Union [AU] Peace and Security Council on May 11 extended Amisom’s stay in war-torn Somalia to December 31 from an earlier date of March 14 after the country failed to conduct a presidential poll in February.

The move by the AU’s top decision-making organ on conflict management and prevention was in line with the UN Security Council’s resolution on March 12, reauthorizing Amisom to maintain its 19,626 officers in Somalia.

The UN had called on Somalia and its partners to work towards “Somali-led political and security reforms to ensure the transition of security responsibilities agreed by the Somali authorities, the Somali security forces, and Amisom from the outset”.

Under the Somali Transition Plan [STP] all the AMISOM troops serving in Somalia are expected to hand over security responsibilities to the Somali National Army [SNA] by December 2021. It’s highly expected that the Somali troops will be ready for the challenge by that time.

Although Al-Shabaab remains highly degraded, the militants still control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia, where they execute sporadic attacks against members of the security forces, senior government officials, and at times civilians.