Kenya set to raise Amisom refunds bill to Sh7 billion

Kenya will demand more compensation in the year starting July from the United Nations (UN) for its troops fighting Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.

Treasury documents show that Kenya expects reimbursement of Sh7.05 billion in the next financial year starting July, up from the current Sh6.1 billion — which has remained static for the past four years.

The refund is set to drop to Sh5 billion and Sh3.5 billion in the next two years, signalling gradual reduction of troops in Somalia.

The UN eased Kenya’s cash crunch after it refunded Sh4.68 billion in the 10 months to April.

In the past, delay in reimbursement of the funds has been linked to the UN’s insistence on verification of claims.

About 4,000 Kenyan soldiers are part of Amisom. The international community pays $1,028 (Sh103,828) for each soldier per month; their respective governments then deduct about $200 (Sh20,200) for administrative costs meaning the soldiers take home about $800 (Sh83,628).

The soldiers receive the funds through the government.

Kenya formally sent 4,660 soldiers to Somalia in October 2011 after incessant attacks and kidnapping of civilians by Al-Shabaab militants within its territory.

A year later, the UN Security Council gave Kenya the green light to join the African Union Mission to Somalia, a decision that meant the Treasury would not bear the full costs of the incursion.

Amisom’s soldiers are drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

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