Home | News    Sunday 20 February 2005

Kenyan troops ready for Sudan peacekeeping role


NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19, 2005 (PANA) — The Kenyan military has finalised the
training of a battalion comprising peacekeepers, peace monitors
and senior military staff for possible deployment to the war-
ravaged southern Sudan and the western region of Darfur, military
sources said Saturday here.

A Kenyan soldier brusher sand from a landmine during a de-mining demonstration at the East African International Mine Action Training Center (IMATC) in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, February 17, 2005. (Reuters).

The troops, awaiting the final dispatch orders, were trained at
the Nairobi-based peace support training centre, where peace and
security monitors from across the sub-Saharan Africa do their
military training.

Defence Department spokesman Bogita Ongeri said the training was
done in advance to prepare the officers for deployment once the
go-ahead orders are issued.

"The officers have been trained but no formal decision has been
taken regarding their deployment. The decision would have to be
taken on whether we are sending peacekeepers, peace monitors or
military observers," Ongeri told PANA.

Kenya is known internationally for its peacekeeping operations in
the world’s main conflict hotbeds in Namibia, East Timor,
Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia.

"We have peace monitors everywhere but our peacekeepers are only
in Burundi, Eritrea and Liberia," Ongeri said.

The Kenyan officers will need logistical support before moving to
the Sudan but the government has ruled out the possibility of
sending a similar number of officers to the African Union
peacekeeping operation in Somalia.

"We only have peacekeepers in Eritrea, Burundi and Liberia. We
have no plans to send any troops to Somalia," Ongeri said in an

The UN Security Council, which met in Nairobi last November to
push forward the Sudan peace talks, is yet to give a final word
on the deployment of the 10,000 peacekeeping force for the
southern Sudan.

The Sudanese belligerents signed a comprehensive peace accord in
January and the peacekeepers were expected in the country 45 days
after the inking of that accord in Nairobi, according to the
implementation modalities of the comprehensive peace agreement.

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