Kenya: Kenya withdraws from UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Kenya has announced the withdrawal of its troops from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) following the sacking of Kenyan force commander, Lieutenant General Jackson Ondieki, the Foreign Ministry said here Wednesday.

Officials in the ministry confirmed that the Kenyan government would also freeze its engagement in the South Sudanese peace effort, following the decision by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to dismiss the Kenyan force commander.

"The process leading to this unfortunate decision not only lacked transparency and did not involve any formal consultation with the government of Kenya," the Foreign ministry said. "This demonstrates total disregard for our key role and responsibilities in South Sudan."

Kenya initially had 310 troops in South Sudan until early 2014, when the troops were increased to 1,000 under a UN Security Council resolution.

Kenya was in the process of deploying additional troops to the conflict-ridden country under a regional initiative agreed by the Africa Union to stabilize South Sudan.

Authorities here, however, said the decision of the UN Secretary-General to reprimand the force commander was a sign of lack of confidence in Kenyan peacekeepers.

Ondieki was fired for failing to order urgent intervention of the UN troops in South Sudan when forces loyal to President Salva Kiir clashed with forces supporting former deputy president Riek Machar in July this year.

-0- PANA AO/AR 2Nov2016

02 november 2016 19:37:23

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