Kenya has received Ksh2.5 billion ($17 million) in the past five years for its contribution to the Somalia peacekeeping mission (now known as the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia) whose mandate is set to end in December next year.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale told parliament this week that the money was sent to the National Treasury in tranches of Ksh500 million ($3.3 million) annually.
In October 2011, Kenya Defence Forces moved into Somalia to pursue Al Shabaab following a series of kidnappings along the Kenya-Somalia border.
The following year, the troops were formally integrated into the African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2036. Amisom would later be converted into Atmis with a drawdown plan till December 2024.
Mr Duale further said compensation for dead soldiers in Somalia is settled within 30 days.
“If the officer was serving within the country, they immediately get Ksh4 million ($26, 881) above his pension which has a component called death gratuity. If he was serving under Atmis like in Somalia, apart from the Ksh4 million the AU and the UN give that family Ksh5 million ($33,602),” Duale told the National Assembly without revealing how many soldiers and officers who have died in Somalia.
In their decade’s stay in Somalia, KDF have come under at least three heavy attacks from Al Shabaab, the worst remains the January 2016 attack at a KDF Forward Operating Base in El Adde.
Another attempt was made the following year in Kulbiyow with less casualties and yet another in 2012 at Hoosingo also with less casualties.
The troops have over the years not only destroyed terrorists' cells in Somalia that would have otherwise been used to plan attacks in Kenya but also trained Somali forces, secure the locals and provided medicine, water and educated women on alternative sources of income.
This week, Duale said more than 4,000 KDF troops will be leaving Somalia as scheduled by the UN in spite of the recent request by Somalia to delay scheduled September drawdowns by three months.