14 March 2012

Kenya: KDF Clout Will Not Diminish Under Amisom, Says Karangi

The Chief of Defence Forces Gen Julius Karangi has said the clout of the KDF will not be diminished under the African Union Mission in Somalia command to fight Al-Shabaab group.

Karangi told MPs that besides taking charge of the areas already liberated from the al-Shabaab, the KDF will dispatch 16 officers to be part of the 85 officers at Amisom command centre in Mogadishu.

He told the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations that is chaired by Wajir West MP Adan Keynan that KDF will be in charge of Amisom intelligence besides handling the spokesman's portfolio. "The clout of the KDF will not be diminished. Amisom mandate is not peace keeping. There is no peace to keep in Somalia. The Amisom mandate is peace enforcement which is what we set out to do when we entered Somalia in October," Karangi told the committee on Monday.

He said Amisom will be commanded by Ugandan general who will be deputised by two officers-a Kenyan and Burundian. Karangi also announced that each of the 4,500 KDF soldiers serving in the mission will be receiving an allowance of Sh84,000 per month paid by the United Nations through Amisom, adding that cost of the operations of the military hardware being used by KDF in Somalia will also be met by Amisom.

He, however, explained that under the UN resolution 2036 (2012), compensation for fuel for navy ships and expenses related to wear and tear for the vessels were not catered for. He said Kenya was following up the issue to ensure that they are included. The UN Security Council recently approved a request by African Union that Amisom's troop be strengthened from 12,000 to a maximum of 17,731. It also approved Kenya to join Amisom.

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