Kenya Withdraws Troops from UN South Sudan Mission


Kenya is withdrawing its troops from the United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The decision comes after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dismissed General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki – a Kenyan national – of his duties as force commander, following and internal investigation.


Kenya reacts to Ondieki dismissal

The Kenyan ministry of foreign affairs responded to the UN’s decision on Wednesday, saying it was “dismayed” by the secretary-general’s actions. It then described the continued deployment of Kenyan troops in South Sudan as “no longer tenable” and vowed to “withdraw immediately”.

Kenya is one of the largest contributors to UNMISS with more than 1,100 troops stationed there. It also contributes dozens of police and military experts, but it appears all of them will be withdrawn.


‘Systematic dysfunctionality’

The Kenyan ministry says the UN mission in South Sudan is burdened by “systematic dysfunctionality”. It insists Ondieki is not responsible for violence that killed dozens of people in July, claiming the UN are using him as a scapegoat to cover up for their administrative failures.

The UN report accuses Ondieki of displaying a lack of leadership during an outbreak of violence in Juba between July 8 and 11. His “chaotic and ineffective response” saw peacekeeper troops abandon their posts and neglect cries for help from aid workers who were under attack at a nearby hotel, the report claims.

Dozens of people were killed during the violence and at least five foreign workers aid workers were raped in the hotel as it was overrun by 100 uniformed soldiers.


Featured image: By AMISOM Public Information – Flickr, CC0, Link

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.