UN refunds Kenya Sh2.3bn for Somalia fight

The UN has eased Kenya’s cash crunch after refunding Sh2.3 billion spent on fighting Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.

Treasury documents show that the reimbursement of Sh800 million was effected last month and Sh1.5 billion in September, accounting for 35.9 per cent of this year’s total refunds of Sh6.4 billion.

This marks one of the few quarters that the UN has made a timely refund. In the past, delay in reimbursement of the money has been linked to the UN’s insistence on proper verification of Kenya’s claims.

The refund is expected to ease budgetary constraints for a government reeling from a shortfall in revenues, stalling payment of essential services. Some flagship projects have also had to be frozen.

In October 2011, the country formally sent 4,660 soldiers to Somalia after incessant attacks and kidnapping by Al-Shabaab militants within its territory.

A year later, the UN Security Council gave Kenya the green light to join the African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom), a decision that meant the Treasury would not bear the full costs of the incursion.