UN mends relations with Kenya, troops to be sent back to South Sudan

The UN and Kenya had severed their ties last year after the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon sacked the Kenyan commander of the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (left) and President uhuru Kenyatta agreed that Kenya would take up command of the peace keeping forces in Darfur.

Kenya and the United Nations (UN) have agreed to reset their fractured relations following a bilateral meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The UN and Kenya had severed their ties last year after the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon sacked the Kenyan commander of the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan Lt Gen Johnson Ondieki after a report said it had failed to protect civilians in July.

Soon after President Kenyatta withdrew Kenya’s troops from South Sudan and accused the UN of using the country as a scapegoat.

He said Kenya would stop its contribution to the South Sudan peace mission following the sacking of Lt Gen Ondieki as commander of the UN Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss).

Kenya however felt that it was not fair for Lt Gen Ondieki to take the fall given he had been in command for only a month before the atrocities took place.

In its protest communication to the UN, Kenya also took issue with the manner the decision was communicated to them and also declined an offer to name a replacement.

Mend relations

However following the meeting, Sec. General Guterres said the UN had full confidence in Kenya’s military and offered the country the Darfur command.

“I want the United Nations to be reconciled with Kenya. Let us make a fresh start. Kenya is a very important player in the region and I feel that we have to work together to secure peace and security. Let us put the past behind us,” Guterres told President Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta said he agreed to a reset in the relations, and would look forward to senior officials from both sides meeting in Addis Ababa to work out details of the new arrangements.

President Kenyatta is the first leader Mr Guterres held bilateral talks with and their talks focused on Kenya’s development as well current regional issues.

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