Since most of them die young, their families cannot enjoy benefits such as pension.

Matters have been made worse by greedy and insensitive family members, who deprive the widows and their children of the cash.

Support systems and counselling are unavailable. So we have a scenario where the families quickly sink deeper into poverty and want as soon as they bury their loved ones, and are left without any organised support.

This is not the first time Kenya is participating in a peace mission – it has done so before, in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Namibia, among others, during which it learnt many lessons.

But every mission has its peculiarities; the Somalia one has particularly been vicious, given the number of lives lost that bring to the fore the question of the rationale for our continued engagement there.

Since the government has taken the view that the troops must stay until the enemy is vanquished, a properly structured and enhanced system is required for compensating and cushioning families whose kin are killed in battle.

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