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Don't fund Amisom, Uhuru tells African States

By Rawlings Otieno | February 29th 2016

President Uhuru Kenyatta Sunday asked countries contributing troops to the Somalia mission not to fund the operations.

Instead, he reminded African leaders that they should demand the African Union Mission in Somalia's (Amisom) funding be drawn from the United Nations contributions. It emerged the European Union had decided to reduce financial support to Amisom troops' allowance by 20 per cent.

Leaders of the mission's Troop and Police Contributing Countries expressed concern over the decision, especially during Amisom's critical phase.

African leaders asked the UN to utilise assessed contributions to bridge the financial gap either through the UN SOS logistical support package or directly to the African Union as Amisom was acting on behalf of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

The leaders had met in Djibouti Sunday to discuss the political and security situation in Somalia.

President Kenyatta said whereas Africa was footing the bill of stabilising Somalia with blood and flesh, it was disheartening that the international community was contemplating reduced support to Amisom.

"We must remind the world that the primary mandate of promotion of international peace and security all over the world including Somalia still remains with the UNSC," said the President.

President Kenyatta said the security apparatus in war-torn Somalia lacked institutional, logistical and operational capabilities and was unable to fully integrate into Amisom's operations.

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He cautioned that if the liberated areas are not adequately covered by Somali security apparatus, Amisom forces are forced to maintain fixed posture and restrict their ability to liberate more areas consequently allowing Al-Shabaab to control swathes of ungoverned spaces.

Of concern to Kenya, he said, was the curious absence of Amisom in the Gedo. This is where the Kenyan contingent of the force was based at and which came under a deadly terrorist attack and left an unknown number of soldiers dead and scores injured.

President Kenyatta said Gedo had now become a safe haven for Al Shabaab and a launching pad for attacks against Kenyan troops and people along the border with Somalia.

"There is urgent need to immediately deploy troops in all designated areas. As a matter of urgency, Amisom must quickly deploy troops in Gedo region in Sector 3," said President Kenyatta.

The President said Amisom was severely incapacitated in both air and maritime components and lacked the requisite force multipliers to effectively deal with the Al Shabaab. He faulted the manner in which the operation was being funded.

"This is the time to strengthen Amisom through a surge in troops and resources," he said.

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