Kenya Threatens to Pull Troops Out of Somalia
Kenya has threatened to pull its troops out of Somalia if the international community refuses to cover funding gaps left by EU cuts.
President Uhuru Kenyatta gave his warning at a UN meeting to discuss the potential closure of the world’s largest refugee camp and the Kenyan leader hit officials with another issue to think about.
Kenyatta warns UN over funding cuts
Kenya is one of Africa’s biggest contributing nations to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) but the country is now questioning its role and the costs that come with it.
“As one of Amisom’s major troop contributing countries, Kenya is questioning whether it was worth the huge cost. [President] Kenyatta asserted that Amisom was not getting the support it needed in terms of resources and equipment, and argued that the UN needed to take on a much greater role,” the UN Security Council Report said on Friday.
“Referring to the recent cuts in EU support, he said it was not Kenya’s role to close the funding gap and the logical conclusion would be for Kenya to pull out its troops.”
Kenya’s costly involvement in AMISOM
Kenyatta’s comments come after proposed funding cuts from the EU. The leader insists it is not the role of Kenya or other contributing nations to cover the funding gaps left by the international community.
Kenya’s involvement in AMISOM has been costly on many levels. Aside from supplying a large portion of the troops used in AMISOM missions, Kenya also houses the world’s largest refugee camp, almost entirely made up of Somali refugees who have fled since Kenyan troops entered the country.
Kenya is now threatening to close that camp as it fears Al-Shabaab terrorists and weapons are being smuggled into the country via the settlement. The most costly result of Kenya’s involvement in Somalia has been a string of attacks on Kenyan soil by Al-Shabaab, killing hundreds of civilians. An unconfirmed number of Kenyan troops have also been killed in violence either side of the border.
The potential closure of Dadaab refugee camp would see more than 300,000 refugees kicked out of Kenya – a number that will make members of the international community nervous. To combine that with Kenyan troops pulling out of Somalia would equal a huge blow to the UN and other organisations.
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