KDF Loses Ksh4.9 Billion Somalia Funding

  • Photo of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers in Somalia.
    Photo of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers in Somalia.
    Telegraph
  • Donor reimbursements to Kenya for its troops fighting Al-Shabaab militia in Somalia have been cut by Ksh4.9 billion in the new financial year starting July 2021.

    The grants, which are usually made through the African Union Peace Facility, have been crucial in ensuring members of the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) are equipped with all they need to carry out their missions safely and effectively.

    This is a stark contrast to the previous year as cash reimbursed to Kenya for its troops fighting Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia for the year ended June 2020, increased by Ksh324 million.

    Conservative estimates showed that the international community pays Ksh 112,052 every month for each soldier deployed in Somalia.

    KDF officers during a past operation
    KDF officers during a past operation.
    Twitter

    Soldiers usually serve for one year which may be extended by a few months or cut short depending on the situation and hostilities across the border.

    However, a leaked audit report by PwC Associates Ltd (Mauritius) earlier this year queried payment of soldiers who had already left the mission, thus highlighting weak accountability measures in the payroll.

    It is not clear how much donor funds have been lost via these 'ghost payroll', with the auditors estimating it to be losses in the millions of dollars between 2016 and 2018.

    The funds cater for allowances for the troops, staff salaries, operational costs of their offices, among others.

    The Federal Government of Somalia — backed by the UN Security Council and the African Union— is working on the Somalia Transition Plan aimed at transferring security responsibility to Somali National Security Forces ahead of Amisom’s planned exit in 2021.

    Kenyan officials argue that despite the lack of obvious movement, Kenya’s presence in Somalia remains significant: without it, Somalia would revert to chaos and Kenya would be less safe as a result.

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

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

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

    Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers inspect the security fencing at the Kenya-Somali border on February 21, 2017
    Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers inspect the security fencing at the Kenya-Somali border on February 21, 2017
    Daily Nation
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