UN to negotiate withdrawal of Kenyan troops from South Sudan

The United Nations is set to negotiate with the Kenyan Government on modalities of withdrawing Kenya’s contingent from the UN mission in South Sudan.

This comes just a day after the Foreign Ministry announced that its decision to withdraw troops is in protest at the sacking of LT General Johnson Ondieki as the Kenyan UNMISS force commander.

In a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, the government expressed its dismay in the manner in which the United Nations and its independent special investigation handled investigations into the conduct of peacekeepers during an attack on civilians by South Sudanese government troops in Juba.

While President Uhuru Kenyatta has been the IGAD Special Rapporteur in the peace process where regional leaders have been keen on seeking solutions for peace in the continent’s youngest nation, the country will also disengage from the South Sudan peace process.

All this follows a UN Inquiry that accused the Lt General Johnson Ondieki led force of failing to respond to an attack on hotel terrain despite multiple requests.

The inquiry also found that during the assault by South Sudanese government troops, civilians in the hotel were subjected to and witnessed crimes including murder, intimidation, sexual violence and torture.

This in turn resulted in a decision by Ban ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, to ask for the immediate replacement of the force’s commander. LT General Ondieki was appointed Kenyan UNMISS force commander in May.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLM-IO) has claimed the disappearance and possible kidnapping of its spokesperson James Gatdek Dak from Nairobi.

SPLM/A-IO alleged that Gatdet was kidnapped by unknown gunmen dressed in uniform from his Nairobi house further pointing an accusing finger at President Salva Kiir’s forces claiming their collusion with gangs.