Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta withdraws troops and disengages fully from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan after the sacking of a Kenyan who led the force.
NAKURU, KENYA (NOVEMBER 03, 2016)(KENYA PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICES) – Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said on Thursday (November 3) that he will withdraw his troops from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
The decision comes after a Kenyan commander who led the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was fired after being accused of not responding to an attack on a hotel in the South Sudanese capital Juba in July.
A U.N. inquiry accused UNMISS of failing to respond to the attack on hotel Terrain despite multiple requests.
The inquiry also found that during assault by South Sudanese government troops, civilians in the hotel were subjected to and witnessed crimes including murder, intimidation, sexual violence and torture.
While commissioning military cadets in Nakuru, Kenyatta said the entire region wants peace in South Sudan but that peace will not come to South Sudan by blaming a Kenyan commander for the wider failing of the mission.
“We will no longer contribute to a mission that has failed to meet its mandate and which has now resulted in scapegoating Kenyans,” he said.
Kenyatta also announced that his country will stop participating in a peace keeping process for South Sudan and discontinue plans to contribute troops to a proposed regional force to be deployed in Juba.
“Kenya serves in this missions not because we have to but because from the time of our independence we have been clear in our understanding and our desire for global peace and stability and the full recognition that as part of the international community, global peace, regional peace also means peace for Kenya, however that does not come at the expense of our dignity, honour and pride as a nation,” said Kenyatta.
Kenya has about 1,000 soldiers contributing in the 12,000-strong peacekeeping force.
The attack on the hotel occurred during several days of fighting between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar, who belong to different ethnic groups.
Since 1979, Kenyans have served in peacekeeping missions across the world. Currently more than 6,000 officers and men are serving the peace missions.