NAIROBI (SD) – Kenyan troops working under the framework of African Union in Somalia will face salary cut after European Union (EU) and its partners decided to whittle down fifty percentage of the funds meant to support the operations against terror groups.
Military officials, privy to the matter said a secret partial withdrawal of Kenyan soldiers has forced EU cut by half the budget for KDF soldiers.
Julius Muia, Kenya Treasury principal secretary (PS) told the parliament of the East African nation that that the nation received Sh4.5 billion from African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) in the 12-month period to June 2019 against a target of Sh8.5 billion.
“The amount was received was based on the number of actual troops deployed in Somalia. By July, 2018, the number of troops was subsequently reduced,” Muia said.
According to Muia, it costs about Sh7,000 ($70) a day to keep a Kenyan soldier in Somalia.
This covers food, transport, medical care, communication and water expenses, which translates to Sh210,000 ($2100) a month and Sh2.52 million a year.
There are at least 4,000 Kenyan soldiers in Somalia, meaning it would cost Sh10.08 billion a year to keep them in a war that has no end in sight.
Kenya deployed its troops in Somalia to fight Al-Shabaab fighters in Southern Somalia in 2011.
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.
During the nine years in the fight against al-Shabaab, Kenya lost more than four soldiers in Somalia.
Last Sunday, more than seven Kenyan soldiers were killed and several others were wounded in an ambush by al-Shabaab fighters in Lower Jubba region.
In 2016, More than 100 Kenyan soldiers were killed during the attack on El Adde for which the militant group claimed responsibility.
The militants also capture about 30 soldiers alive.
Currently there are 3664 troops from Kenya after they pulled out a battalion when 850 Sierra Leonean troops arrived.