Kenya to withdraw from S Sudan after UN force head fired

Kenya announced on Wednesday it was withdrawing from United Nations peacekeeping duties in South Sudan after the UN chief Ban Ki-moon fired the Kenyan head of the force for failing to protect civilians.
Continued deployment of Kenyan troops in South Sudan “is no longer tenable”, the foreign ministry said, declaring that the country would “withdraw, immediately” its forces there.
In an angrily-worded statement, the ministry said it learned “with dismay” of Ban’s decision Tuesday to dismiss Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki as head of the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan, UNMISS force.
The move came after a UN special investigation issued a damning report, saying lack of leadership in the force led to a “chaotic and ineffective response” during heavy fighting in the capital Juba from July 8 to 11.
UNMISS has around 16,000 troops deployed in South Sudan, which has been at war since December 2013. Kenya has contributed around 1 000 men, making it one of the largest national components.
A South Sudan government spokesman declined to comment on the announcement.
In Nairobi, the Kenyan foreign ministry said the government “takes great exception to this decision” to fire Ondieki and lashed out at the process as lacking transparency and consultation.
It accused the UN of failing to address UNMISS’s shortcomings and “instead opted to unfairly attribute them to a single individual.”
‘No longer tenable’

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