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Kenya ups push for troops pull-out from Somalia

Storyline:National News, Security
FILE: Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta inspecting a guard of honor during visit to KDF forces in Dhobley Somalia  Photo: State House Nairobi|March 18, 2017

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has reiterated his country’s intention to pull out its troops from Somalia.

Kenyatta said in a media interview Sunday time had come for Kenya Defense Forces to pull out of Somalia seven years since they were deployed.

“Somalia has a lot of African our troops so it’s time for our Kenyan troops to come back to their homeland,” Kenyatta said.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with US President Donald Trump where the war on terror in the East and Horn of Africa region forms part of the agenda, Kenyatta however noted his country would continue its support for Somalia until it stabilises.

“Somalia’s stability depends on rebuilding the country’s own security agencies such as the Somalia National Army, the police,” said Kenyatta adding his troops will move to the border to reinforce security between the two neighbouring countries.

The Kenyan Treasury indicated last week it would be demanding $85 million from the UN as reimbursements up from the current $61 million. However that figure is set to drop to $35 million as AMISOM cuts down troop numbers in Somalia.

President Kenyatta is also expected to push for US funding for AMISOM which has faced uncertainty following the EU’s 20% cut for troops stipends February 2016. Troops contributing countries have demanded the UN shoulder the cost but so far there are no clear indications on how that gap will be filled.

Kenyan troops entered Somalia in 2011, after several abductions of foreign tourists in the coastal regions.

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