By LUCAS BARASA lbarassa_at_ke.nationmedia.com and KEVIN KELLY Nation
Correspondent in New York
Posted Friday, February 24 2012 at 22:30
* Country's ambassador says resolution on Somalia did not include
provisions to equip four KDF navy ships
Kenya expressed its "disappointment" over a decision by donors not to fund
its navy, a move that would help it patrol the Somalia coastline.
This emerged as the Kenya's Defence Forces revealed that it might be up to
six months before its soldiers are fully integrated into the African Union
Forces in Somalia (Amisom) despite the United Nations endorsement on
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) approved a plan to integrate some
4,000 Kenyan troops into Amisom. This "rehatting" initiative would save
Kenya billions of shillings.
The UN appropriated $304 million to support Amisom in the fiscal year ending
this June. However, under the plan endorsed on Wednesday, UN support for
Amisom could increase to more than $500 million a year.
But speaking in London, Kenya's ambassador to the UN Macharia Kamau said the
resolution expanding Amisom's strength does not provide the $10 million in
funding for all the equipment Kenya had hoped to receive for four of its
Navy vessels operating off the Somalia coast.
Ambassador Kamau told the Nation that Kenya is "disappointed" by that
"Quarantining the coastline of Somalia is critical to the success of the
mission," he said, adding that the UN resolution, as adopted, will not
permit fully such efforts. But he said they were "satisfied" with the
Ms Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, expressed "regret" that the
decision did not include full support for Amisom's maritime capabilities.
But British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters that the
resolution will cover payment for the crew of the four Kenyan ships as well
as the fuel for operating them.
"It is only the ancillary costs, in terms of wear and tear of the boats,
that will not be included," Ambassador Grant said.
In Kenya, Amisom and KDF however welcomed the "rehatting" but said it will
take up to six months before the two forces are integrated. KDF spokesman
colonel Cyrus Oguna said Kenya will draw an agreement with Amisom on how its
soldiers will operate.
President Mwai Kibaki is leading the Kenyan delegation to talks on Somalia
in the UK.
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Received on Fri Feb 24 2012 - 07:48:48 EST