(Salaamanews)- Kenya urged the United Nations Security Council on Monday to make “timely and total reimbursement” of what the country is owed for its military contributions to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
Kenya’s UN ambassador Macharia Kamau warned that failure to provide Kenya with the full amount pledged by the Security Council is “unacceptable and unsustainable.”
In his speech during a Council debate on UN peacekeeping activities, Mr Kamau did not specify how much Kenya is owed. He said only that the country has received “a fraction of the millions of dollars committed by this Council.”
“Troop-contributing countries spend significant amounts of money preparing troops, maintaining readiness and deploying expensive equipment to support given mandates,” Ambassador Kamau noted in his address. That burden weighs particularly heavily on developing countries, he added.
Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October 2010 following a series of terror attacks on Kenyan territory said to have been carried out by forces operating out of Somalia.
The UN Security Council, which partly finances the six-year-old Amisom operation, approved Kenya’s participation in the 17,000-member force in a resolution adopted in February 2011.
A total of 4,664 Kenyan personnel deployed in Somalia were formally integrated into Amisom’s ranks in June of last year. Kenya had sent troops into the country in October 2011.
In September, the Kenyan forces captured the strategic port city of Kismayu, which was their strategic target and the key source of funding for the Al-Shabaab militia.
Kenya has separately asked the UN to designate the country’s maritime forces operating in Somali waters as an official component of Amisom. Such recognition would enable Kenya to receive additional reimbursements from the UN.
The Security Council has so far declined to extend Amisom’s mandate to include maritime forces. Mr Kamau says Kenya will raise the issue again in March when the council conducts a scheduled review of Amisom.