Kenya to withdraw forces from South Sudan UN mission

Nairobi says decision is response to 'unfair' dismissal of international force's Kenyan commander

Kenya to withdraw forces from South Sudan UN mission

World Bulletin / News Desk

Kenya will withdraw its troops from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Kenyan Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The announcement followed the dismissal of the Kenyan commander of the UN force, Lt. Gen. Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki.

He was sacked by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after an independent report found that UNMISS had failed to respond to an attack on civilians by South Sudanese government troops in the capital Juba in July.

The report, issued Tuesday, found the mission’s troops and police had failed to be proactive and “show a determined posture to protect civilians under threat.”

Kenya, which also withdrew from plans to contribute to a protection force to reinforce the UN presence, accused the UN of blaming one individual for “fundamental structural and systemic dysfunctionality, which has severely hindered [UNMISS's] ability to discharge its mandate since its inception.”

The Foreign Ministry also accused the UN of acting without informing Nairobi and declined to select a commander to replace Ondieki.

“Regrettably, instead of addressing these shortcomings directly, the United Nations has instead opted to unfairly attribute them to a single individual,” the ministry said in a statement.

Kenya contributes around 1,000 personnel to UNMISS, which currently numbers around 14,000 soldiers and police.

The conflict in South Sudan has led to tens of thousands of deaths since it began in 2013. Fighting renewed between rebel and government forces in July following a peace deal last year.

Last Mod: 03 Kasım 2016, 08:39
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