Source: RTT News
Kenya’s Parliament voted late on Wednesday to allow the country’s troops to join African Union’s ongoing U.N.-mandated military mission in Somalia aimed at providing military support to the U.N.-backed interim Somali government against the Islamist militants.
The Kenyan move came after the AU requested Nairobi last week to allow its troops currently in Somalia on an anti-militant mission to join the bloc’s 9,000-strong troops already deployed in the Horn of Africa nation to support the Somali interim government.
Experts believe Kenya’s latest move would force the AU and the United Nations to finance the costs of the ongoing Kenyan military operation in Somalia, thereby sparing Nairobi of the massive expenses involved in maintaining the military operation in Somalia. It would also ensure Kenya’s active participation in the regional efforts to tackle al-Qaeda-linked militant groups.
Hundreds of Kenyan troops are currently in Somalia as part of a cross-border operation aimed at driving fighters belonging to the infamous al-Shabaab Islamist militant group away from the border separating the two nations, following a wave of abductions along the border.
The Kenyan incursion is also part of a cross-border search for four kidnapped Europeans, including two humanitarian aid workers, believed to have been taken to Somalia by their captors. One of them subsequently died in captivity. Kenyan officials blame al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants for the kidnappings.