Kenya withdraws soldiers from war-torn South Sudan

First group of 100 troops return to Kenya following spat with UN over peacekeeping mission

Kenya withdraws soldiers from war-torn South Sudan

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Kenya started withdrawing its soldiers from a South Sudan UN-backed peacekeeping mission on Wednesday.

The first batch of 100 troops attached to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) touched down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Earlier this month Kenya revealed it would withdraw its forces from UNMISS following the unceremonial dismissal of its Kenyan commander, Lt. Gen. Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki.

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

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Biwott said the withdrawal process would continue until all soldiers returned to Kenya.

“Today we are very lucky to have our soldiers back, and the total number of soldiers who have come today is 100, and we are going to continue implementing the directive given by the commander-in-chief until all our soldiers have been withdrawn from South Sudan,” Biwott said.

“We are pulling out the whole contingent in South Sudan; that is over 1,000 soldiers,” he added.

Biwott said the Kenya Defense Forces from 1979 had taken part in many peacekeeping operations across 44 countries. According to the Kenyan military, the country had approximately 1,500 soldiers posted in South Sudan.

The conflict in South Sudan began in 2013 and has so far claimed thousands of lives.

Last Mod: 09 Kasım 2016, 22:51
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