US engages Kenya after KDF withdrawal from S Sudan

2016-11-05 18:58
President Uhuru Kenyatta. (File: AFP)

President Uhuru Kenyatta. (File: AFP)

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Nairobi – The United States says it is closely monitoring the situation following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to withdraw Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

According to Kenyans.co.ke, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said during a press briefing that the US was engaging with president Kenyatta and Kenyan authorities to avoid compromising the essential peacekeeping mission. 

"We have seen reports about Kenya’s intentions. We’re going to continue to engage with the Kenyan Government. We are continuing to talk to the Kenyans about their intentions. We are going to continue to engage with him (Kenyatta)," Toner was quoted as saying. 

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday sacked Lieutenant General Johnson Ondieki after investigations showed that peacekeepers failed to protect civilians during heavy fighting in Juba in July.

On Wednesday, Kenya announced it was withdrawing from the UN peacekeeping duties in the east African country.

In a angrily-worded statement, Kenya said it had learned "with dismay" of Ban's decision.

It accused the UN of bowing to pressure from other countries by setting up an investigation that pinned the blame for peacekeeping failures in South Sudan on the Kenyan force commander. 

Ambassador Macharia Kamau charged that "certain current and future members of the Security Council" had pushed for a probe with a "pre-ordained outcome" that targeted the Kenyan general as the "fall guy".

Read more on:    un  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  ban ki-moon  |  south sudan  |  kenya  |  east africa

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