Kenya Agrees To Redeploy Its Troops To South Sudan

The Kenyan government and the United Nations reaffirmed their commitments to redeploy Kenyan peace mission forces in the war torn South Sudan months after Kenya pulled out its forces from South Sudan last year.

JUBA, 31 January 2017 [Gurtong] –According to the Kenyan media on Monday, a statement released from the office of the Kenyan presidency, the move was reached in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres sat down and discussed ways toward restoration of their fractured relations after Kenya fell out with the UN following the dismissal of Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki from South Sudan’s UN mission last year.

“I want the United Nations to be reconciled with Kenya. Let us make a fresh start. Kenya is a very important player in the region and I feel that we have to work together to secure peace and security. Let us put the past behind us,” Guterres told Kenyan President Kenyatta on Sunday in Addis Ababa.

Kenya pulled out its mission peacekeeping troops from UN in South Sudan last year after its mission commander who was commanding in South Sudan Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki was withdrawn by the UN from South Sudan without UN consultation with the Kenyan leadership.

Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki was dismissed by the UN, charged of UN troops in Juba negligence in protecting the civilians during the violence that erupted last year in Juba between forces loyal to the former Vice President Riek Machar and forces loyal to President Salva Kiir Mayardirt.

After Banki Moon decision to sack Ondieki from South Sudan UN mission, the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately said it was “dismayed” by the UN secretary-general’s decision to dismiss Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki.

Continued deployment of Kenyan troops in South Sudan “is no longer tenable”, the ministry said, saying Kenya would “withdraw, immediately” its forces there.

According to Guterres on Sunday, the new move was decided by the UN as to restore confidences between Kenya and the United Nations since Kenya has been playing a positive role in the UN mission in the world.

President Kenyatta regretted during the meeting with the UN chief saying such an affront to Kenyan dignity was unwelcomed because it conveyed the memorandum that Kenya’s efforts in keeping the region safe went unrecognized.

Kenya was having more than 1,000 troops deployed in South Sudan particularly deployed in Wau but on the 2nd November 2016, Kenya decided to pull out its troops from South Sudan unilaterally.

The ministry said the UN mission in the country, known as UNMISS, suffered from “systemic dysfunctionality” and that Ondieki was not to blame for violence that killed dozens of people in Juba or all over the country in South Sudan.

Kenya said after withdrawing its troops from South Sudan that UNMISS was suffering from fundamental structural and systemic dysfunctionality, which has severely hindered its ability to discharge its mandate since its inception of which General Ondieki was not to be blamed on the matter.

However the special UN investigation release blamed on Ondieki and a “lack of leadership” in UNMISS for the “chaotic and ineffective response” to the violence in the capital Juba in July.

The released inquiry also accused UN peacekeepers of abandoning their posts and failing to respond to pleas for help from aid workers under attack in the Terrain Hotel, less than a mile from a UN compound including the rapping of IDPs near the UN camps in Juba.

Despite the Kenya’s decision to pull out its troops from South Sudan in November, Kenyas’ President Uhuru Kenyatta alongside with the African Union, International community and other African leaders played positive in bringing warring parties in South Sudan to sign the peace deal regardless of reservations said by President Kiir in the peace agreement.

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