Economy

Treasury to create Sh7bn peace-keeping fund

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Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury & Economic Planning Njuguna Ndung'u at Kenyatta International Convention Centre. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Kenya will establish a Sh7 billion fund for peace-keeping operations, following delays in refunds from the United Nations for several missions abroad.

Treasury Cabinet secretary Njuguna Ndung’u has published regulations establishing the National Peace Support Operations Fund for peacekeeping missions.

The initial capital of the fund shall be Sh7 billion, with Sh1 billion being appropriated by the National Assembly while the balance comes from reimbursements from the various peacekeeping missions.

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“The object and purpose of the fund shall be to provide funds to support the participation in Peace Support Operations by the Kenya Defence Forces, the National Police Service or any other organisation in accordance with Article 240 (8)(a) of the Constitution,” reads the Public Finance Management (National Peace Support Operations Fund) Regulations, 2022.

Prof Njuguna published the rules on December 14 last year.

While Kenya is supposed to be reimbursed by the UN for its contribution to peace operations, the UN has been slow to approve the pay, with the government forced to foot the bill.

The establishment of the kitty will ensure that such delays do not lead to fiscal pressure on the national government, with the Ministry of Defence budget dropping from Sh133.9 billion in the financial year 2021/22 to Sh128.4 billion in the current financial calendar ending June.

The fund will be used to finance the establishment of equipment parks, an area designated by the highest decision-making organ of the fund, the Defence Council, for storage of equipment and assets used for the peace-keeping mission.

Money from this fund will also be used to acquire training facilities and infrastructure, funding of capacity building programme including training.

The money from the kitty will also finance research, monitoring and evaluation of activities related to the peace-keeping mission.

The Ministry of Defence says on its website that with each deployment, Kenya spends significant amounts of money preparing troops, maintaining the readiness and deploying expensive equipment to support given mandates.

Although the UN is expected to reimburse Kenya for authorised missions, the Ministry adds, such resources may not be immediately available especially due to the fact that they may not have been budgeted for in advance.

“The AMISOM deployment was one such case due to the protracted nature of reimbursements negotiations,” said the ministry.

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The Kenyan forces joined the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2012, teaming up with troops from Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti in the fight against the terror group Al Shabaab.

Currently, Kenya is in 10 countries for peace-keeping missions.

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