UN team out to verify needs of Kenya forces - Daily Nation

UN team out to verify needs of Kenya forces

Monday February 27 2012

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) out in the field in during the

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) out in the field in during the "Operation Linda Nchi" against the Somalia militia Al-Shabaab. Photo/FILE 

By ZADOCK ANGIRA [email protected]a.com

A team of defence experts from the UN Security Council is in the country to certify the number of soldiers and the list of requirements given by the government for the integration of Kenya’s soldiers into African Union forces in Somalia.

Kenya is expected to provide manpower while the AU will provide further training and equipment to the soldiers battling Al-Shabaab insurgents.

The AU will now fund the forces’ operations by paying for the firearms, uniforms, salaries and allowances.

Defence minister Yusuf Haji said they had furnished the AU with the number of soldiers and the equipment to be used in the mission— including the number of firearms, uniforms, aircraft and technical crew like engineers.

Mr Haji said Kenyan soldiers would rehat into the African Mission in Somalia (Amisom) forces soon as the Security Council fulfils the requirements.

He also said that although KDF forces would change their uniforms from green to blue next week, they would not change their areas of deployment.

He was speaking during the opening of symposium on East Africa and India security relations at the International Peace Support Training Centre in Karen, Nairobi.

The relations between E. Africa and India were based on shared mutual interests and common security concerns in the Indian Ocean, said the minister.

The AU had approved a 17,000 Amisom soldiers, but Mr Haji said there was need to increase the number.

He disclosed that the KDF forces would not move to Mogadishu.

The symposium focused on enhancing cooperation between East Africa and India in matters of security.

The forum was attended by among others diplomats, security personnel and academics.