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UN offers Kenya Sh3.7bn refund for Somalia operation

Storyline:National News

The United Nations has offered Kenya Sh3.7 billion as refund for money spent by its troops fighting Al-Shabab in Somalia after months of delay
Treasury documents show that the reimbursement was done in February. The country has been awaiting the cash from August last year.
The UN failed to refund Sh2.03 billion in the quarter to September and another Sh2.01 billion in the three months to December.
The refund looks set to ease budgetary constraints from a government reeling from a shortfall in taxes as the Kenya Revenue Authority failed to hit revenue targets by Sh23 billion in the first half of the year.
In the past, delay in reimbursement of the money has been linked to the UN’s insistence on proper verification of Kenya’s claims.
In October 2011, the country formally sent 4,660 soldiers to Somalia after incessant attacks and kidnapping by Al-Shabaab fighters within its territory.
A year later, the UN Security Council gave Kenya the green light to join African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), a decision that meant the Treasury would not bear the full costs of the incursion.
Amisom is an eight-year- old operation with nearly 20,000 troops from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya. AMISOM refunded Kenya the monies spent from the date of the UN resolution until June 2012 when Amisom began catering for the soldiers directly.
Under the deal, Kenyan soldiers were to receive a monthly allowance of Sh88,408 ($1,028) each besides their salaries as well as comprehensive medical covers and access to advanced equipment.
The entry into Somalia to battle Al-Shabaab has triggered a series of grenade and bomb attacks in the Kenya as the militant group pushes for withdraw from the country. This has spurred the UK, US, Australia and France to warn their citizens against travelling to Kenya.
Kenya has in the past used its ambassador to the UN, Macharia Kamau, to demand the reimbursements, claiming that failure to refund the money was not only “unacceptable”, but also “unsustainable.”
The UN cut compensation for the Kenyan operation in Somalia by a fifth to Sh4.69 billion in the year to June.