Kenya Defense Forces will remain in war torn Somalia despite latest assault from home

The African Union is keen to have all foreign troops in Somalia withdraw by December 2020, but Kenya wants a delayed exit.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Kenya Defence Forces soldiers. Kenyatta says KDF will not withdraw from Somalia

While speaking at the Recruits Training School in Eldoret where he presided over the passing-out parade, Mr Kenyatta said there was no retreat no surrender strategy for Kenya until peace reigned supreme in war torn Somalia.

“To secure Kenya and our region, our forces will continue joint operations with the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom)," Mr Kenyatta said.

In October 2011, Kenya sent 4,660 soldiers to Somalia after incessant attacks and kidnapping of civilians by the Al-Qaeda linked militia, Al Shabaab within its territory.

Despite going underground, Al Shabaab continues to conduct frequent assaults in Kenya, mostly in the region bordering Somalia, to put pressure on the Kenyan government to withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Somalia.

Their latest attack happened in October after they stormed Arabia Boys Secondary School in Mandera East sub county and killed two non-local teachers and burnt the staff room.

The African Union wants the Somalia army to take over responsibility for the country's security. The international community pays $1,028 (Sh103,828) for each soldier per month, their respective governments then deducts about $200 (Sh20,200) for administrative costs, leaving them with a take-home of about $800 (Sh83,628).

Kenya gets a refund for its soldiers in Somalia and expects Sh8.5 billion in the financial year starting next July.

However, the compensation from the UN is expected to drop to Sh5 billion and Sh3.5 billion in the next two years to June 2015, indicating gradual reduction of troops.

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