Kenya asks UN to fund war against Al-Shabaab

KDF troops get ready to board a plane as their rotation in Kismayo, Somalia, ends on December 9. The troops have served in the southern city of Kismayo for over one year now, as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia. AMISOM Photo/ Awil Abukar

Consistent and ample funding from the United Nations is needed to ensure Somalia does not spiral back into chaos and once again fall under control of Al-Shabaab militants, said Kenyan Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba.

Speaking to a gathering of diplomats from the African Union and European Union in Brussels, last week, the Kenyan representative said that “the promotion and maintenance of peace and security in the world is the primary mandate of the United Nations”. He pointed out there is an urgent need to plug funding gaps and boost counter-terrorism efforts, “but unfortunately, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AmiSom) continues to suffer insufficient and unpredictable funding”, he noted.

Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti and Burundi have jointly contributed troops to the 22,000-strong force, initially meant to last only six months in 2007, but which is still engaged in a dogged fight with the terrorist group. The comments by Mr. Namwamba were especially relevant in the wake of the attack a week earlier on the DusitD2 in Nairobi that killed 21 people and was claimed by Al-Shabaab.

Kenya, which contributes 3,664 soldiers to Amisom, has previously called for more predictable funding for the peacekeeping mission. But the UN Security Council, declined AU’s request to have Amisom benefit from UN funding, citing that the tradition is for the UN to fund only peacekeeping missions, and not counter-terrorism operations such as that of Amisom.

The UN fears if it agrees to fund Amisom, it will set a precedent to mix up combat and non-combat troops. Currently, the UN funds Amisom only by recompensing its equipment and other logistical expenditure. Yet Nairobi and peers have complained in the past that the money is usually delayed.