November 4, 2016 (JUBA) - The head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operation (DPKO) of the United Nations said the world body respects the sovereign position of the Kenyan government to pull its peacekeeping troops from South Sudan.
- The head of the UN peacekeeping mission, Herve Ladsous speaking in Juba (UNMISS photo)
"It is their sovereign decision but I respect that but of course I regret it and we are assessing what consequences this will have on the regional protection force that was recently decided upon by the UN Security Council that we are trying into existence as soon as possible,” said Hervé Ladsous,
Ladsous was speaking to the media at a press conference on Thursday evening at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. He was reacting to Kenya’s rejection of the UN Secretary General’s decision in which he recommended the sacking of the force commander, who hails from Kenya, from the UN mission in South Sudan.
Kenya argued that failure of the mission was systemic to the individual commander.
The UN chief, Ban Ki-moon asked for the sacking of General Johnson Ondieki, after an internal investigation found that the mission failed to protect civilians in Juba in July.
The UN, Ladsous said, has established a task force to carry out the recommendations of the report, which include ensuring greater accountability of the mission’s leadership.
He said the recommendation of the internal report has already been approved for implementation and the world’s body will just continue with the implementation.
“The Secretary-General has approved these recommendations, so we will try to move things forward as quickly as possible,” he said, further stressing that the world body was also assessing what consequences the Kenyan government decision will have on the regional protection force its 15-member Security Council approved in September.
“That of course is something we are the first to regret very much because Kenya has been a solid contributor of troops and police to the peace keeping operations,” he added.