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Funding gaps could force Kenya to withdraw troops from Somalia

Funding gaps could force Kenya to withdraw troops from Somalia

Kenya

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned that his country might withdraw its troops from Somalia if the international community does not plug funding gaps for the operation.

At a meeting with envoys from the UN Security Council on Friday, the President told the diplomats that funding cuts to the African Union Mission in Somalia will not be filled by participating countries.

Much of the funding has been coming from the European Union. But in January, the EU cut its budget to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) by 20 percent.

On January 15, dozens of heavily armed al-Shabab fighters assaulted a Kenyan-run military base for African Union peacekeepers in the southern Somali town of El-Ade, killing more than 100 Kenyan soldiers.

Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October 2011 in a bid to crack down on Al-Shabab, which had been coordinating cross-border kidnappings.

Kenya has contributed more than 3,600 troops to the 22,000-strong peacekeeping force in Somalia.