Kenyan soldiers fighting the al-Shabaab in Somalia will each receive a monthly allowance of Sh84,296, ($1,028) on top of their salaries after they integrate into African Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi said the 4,660 soldiers would also get comprehensive medical cover and access to advanced equipment.
Kenyan soldiers intergrated into Amisom on February 22, 2012 after the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 2036.
Under Amisom, Kenya’s taxpayers will not foot the cost of the war as the case has been, except for naval hardware which was not covered by the UN resolution.
“We entered Somalia with the full cost to taxpayers but with Amisom, Kenyans will no longer be required to pay for our stay in Somalia,” General Karangi told the Defence and Foreign relations committee of Parliament.
Kenya is the only country in the region with Naval capacity to engage in war, General Karangi said, adding that fuel for navy ships would be reimbursed and soldier sailors accorded Amisom benefits.
“What was omitted in the resolution 2036 is reimbursement for our naval vessels wear and tear. We are exploring a window to see if this can be covered,” he added.
However, Amisom will refund Kenya all the monies that will have been spent from the date of the UN resolution until June this year when Amisom is expected to begin catering for the soldiers.
In the new Amisom command meant to complement efforts by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, Kenya and Burundi Generals will deputise a Ugandan General. Kenya has also secured 16 slots in the 85-member Amisom Secretariat that will be based in Mogadishu.
General Karangi also said Kenya had secured the posts of Spokesperson and Head of Intelligence Wing of Amisom.
Kenya will also embed Sierra Leone soldiers who will be entering Somalia in June. Amisom comprises soldiers from Uganda, Burundi Djibouti and Kenya and the expected contigent from Sierra Leone.
“The mandate of Amisom is simply the same as the one we used to enter Somalia, that is Peace Enforcement,” General Karangi told the Committee chaired by Wajir West MP Aden Keynan. He added that the current war against al-Shabaab will continue on land, air and sea.
The military boss said the Kenyan forces in Somalia had performed well with a reported loss of 12 soldiers the only downside so far. He however said the military is working on a compensation policy for the deceased soldiers.
Source: Business Daily-By