UN pays Kenya USD18.6M for soldiers based in Somalia waging war against Al Shabaab

Nearly 4,000 Kenyan soldiers are currently in Somalia as part of African Union Mission (Amisom) drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

The United Nations has reimbursed the country Sh1.9 billion ($18.6m) for money spent by its troops fighting Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.

Treasury documents show that the reimbursement was done last month, and accounts for a third of this year’s total refunds of Sh6.1 billion ($59.6m).

The refund is scheduled quarterly and the Treasury had received Sh906 million ($9,060,000) in the five months to November—pushing total refunds for the first half to Sh2.7 billion ($26.4m).

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

Nearly 4,000 Kenyan soldiers are currently in Somalia as part of African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

The international community provides $1,028 (Sh103,828) for each Amisom soldier a 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 allowances through the government.

In the past, the delay of the money had been linked to the UN’s insistence on proper verification of Kenya’s claims.

Kenya has in the past used its ambassador to the UN, Macharia Kamau, who was  nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta as Foreign Affairs PS on Friday, to demand the reimbursements, saying that failure to refund was “unacceptable”.

The funds are only released to Amisom by the UN once accounts from the previous payment are signed off.

The refund is expected to ease budgetary constraints for a government whose revenue collection for first five months to November is behind targets by Sh52.6 billion, setting the stage for further budget cuts.

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