November 14, 2016 (JUBA) – Kenya said it will continue to support efforts to restore peace in the troubled neighbouring South Sudan after pulling its out of the United Nations peacekeeping mission the country last week.
A spokesman to Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta told a news conference in Nairobi on Sunday that the East African county will not send troops to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
“Kenya will keep its obligation to South Sudan. We will work with them bilaterally, in the framework of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the East African Community, which we worked hard to get them there, and the African Union,” said the Kenyan State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu on Sunday.
Kenya has started withdrawing troops from UNMISS since last week, to protest the dismissal of its top military general from the command of UN troops earlier this month.
However, Esipisu maintained there is no future engagement of Kenyan army in the peace keeping mission in South Sudan.
“What we will not do is (to) work with them on UNMISS,” he said.
UN Security General Ban Ki-Moon fired Lt. Gen. Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki following the findings of an internal investigation that blamed UNMISS command for failure to protect civilians in Juba.
“The special investigation found that UNMISS did not respond effectively to the violence due to an overall lack of leadership, preparedness and integration among the various components of the mission,” said UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric on 2 November.
Kenya also deported the Spokesperson of SPLM-IO leader and former First Vice President Riek Machar to Juba for applauding Gen. Ondieki’s dismissal.
There are over 1,000 Kenyan soldiers deployed in South Sudan. The east African country also was supposed to contribute to the 4000-strong Regional Protection Force that the UN Security Council authorized its deployment in Juba.
The extra troops will join 12,000 UN soldiers in South Sudan to enhance peace implementation process.