President Uhuru Kenyatta has threatened to withdraw Kenyan troops from Amisom serving in Somalia.
Uhuru is quoted by The Star telling a visiting United Nations Security Council envoys last week that fund cuts by the donor community to the mission in Somalia have hampered success against al Shabaab.
“Referring to the recent cuts in EU support, he said it was not Kenya’s role to close the funding gap and the logical conclusion would be for Kenya to pull out its troops,” a brief by a UN online bulletin read.
The President’s threat comes as a surprise, given his earlier stand that Kenya will remain in Somalia for as long as it takes, The Star reported.
Opposition leaders have consistently asked the government to withdraw the soldiers, saying it has not helped Kenya’s resolve to defeat al Shabaab.
October 16th 2011, Kenya Defence Forces moved into Southern Somalia to pursue insurgents group Al Shabaab after a series of kidnappings of tourists along the border.
One month, later Kenyan government agreed to re-hat its forces under the African Union Mission in Somalia.
The troops from Kenya were later formally integrated into AMISOM on February 22, 2012 after the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2036.
AMSOM’s Sector 2, which has its headquarters in the port city of Kismayo, is comprised of Lower and Middle Juba. Currently there are 3664 troops from Kenya after they pulled out a battalion when 850 Sierra Leonean troops arrived.
Major General Francis Nthenge from Kenya is AMISOM’s Deputy Force Commander Support and Sector 2 commanded by Brig. Walter Koipaton Raria.