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Kenya’s military gets more billions in weapons spending as it takes on Uganda in regional arms race

Kenya had gone slow on the acquisition of weapons as neighbouring Uganda made a strong comeback to lead in East Africa’s arms race.

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The Budget Committee has asked the Treasury to add the Sh4 billion to the Sh17.5 billion, pushing the arms budget to Sh21.5 billion.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) had gone slow on the acquisition of weapons as neighbouring Uganda made a strong comeback to lead in East Africa’s arms race.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute last month revealed that Kenya slashed its spending on military hardware by half to Sh1.3 billion ($13 million) in 2017 from Sh2.8 billion the previous year.

Uganda ended its lull last year with an arms stockpile worth Sh1.8 billion, a departure from 2016 when it made no purchase.

Kenya's heavy military spending is informed by the need to defend its territory against the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants that have in the past targeted civilians and security in major towns.

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