Kenya withdraws troops from South Sudan over dismissal of UNMISS commander and Arrested Opposition Spokesman

UN.jpgNovember 2, 2016 (JUBA) – Kenyan government Wednesday has decided to withdraw its troops from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in protest of a UN decision to sack the Kenyan force commander.

Based on the conclusions of an internal report on UNMISS failure to protect civilians last July, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon relieved Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki of Kenya from his position as force commander and proposed to Nairobi to appoint another general to replace him.

Reacting to this development, the Kenyan foreign ministry issued a strongly worded statement saying the decision would not “address the root causes of the unfortunate incidences in South Sudan nor does it offer a sustainable solution to the recurring violence in South Sudan”.

The Kenyan government went further to say that the dismissal of General Ondieki was not transparent, and was decided without any formal consultation.

“This demonstrate complete disregard of our key role and responsibility in South Sudan. The manner in which the information was conveyed to the Government of Kenya revealed a high degree of disrespect for our country, and Jack of confidence in our troops and their contribution to regional peace processes,” says the statement.

Accordingly, the Kenyan, foreign ministry announced the withdrawal of its troops from South Sudan saying that ’’the continued presence of its troops in South Sudan is no longer tenable and is inimical to their safety’’.

It also rejected Ondieki’s dismissal and the offer to nominate a replacement, and decided to disengage from the South Sudan Peace Process.

UN report said there was a lack of leadership on the part of key senior mission personnel, adding it led to a chaotic and ineffective response to the violence.

Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan are the three countries that brokered a peace agreement last August to end the South Sudanese crisis.

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