Kenya has pulled out its troops from South Sudan over a diplomatic row after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon dismissed Lt Gen Johson Ondieki who was in charge of the UN Mission (UNMMIS ).
The government has also disengaged from the South Sudan Peace process.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the government rejected the decision by Ki-Moon to dismiss Ondieki as well as the offer to nominate a replacement on grounds that “the manner in which the UN and its independent special investigation dismissed the Gen will not address the root causes of the South Sudanese conflict nor offer a sustainable solution” to the war-torn nation adding that the continued deployment of its troops in South Sudan is no longer tenable, and is dangerous to Kenya’s safety and well-being.
“What is clear is that UNMMIS suffers from fundamental structural and systemic dysfunctionality, which has severely hindered its ability to discharge its mandate since its inception,” the statement signed by PS Monica Juma reads.
“Regretably, instead of addressing these shortcomings directly, the UN has instead opted to unfairly attribute them to a single individual, in the name of the Lt General Ondieki,”
“This action is not only wrong but also insulates the Department Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) from the hard questions it needs to answer, and the responsibility it must shoulder to facilitate the proper management of UNMISS”, the ministry said.
(UNMISS) has been in South Sudan since the country gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and Kenya has more than 1,000 troops deployed in South Sudan.
A special UN investigation released on Tuesday blamed Ondieki and a “lack of leadership” in UNMISS for the “chaotic and ineffective response” to the violence in the capital Juba in July that left civilians killed and aid workers raped.
The report 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.
President Uhuru Kenyatta played a significant role in the peace agreement signed last year between Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.