UN "regrets" KDF withdrawal, replaces Kenyan commander with Chinese

Lt-Gen Ondieki has been replaced on an acting basis by Maj-Gen Chaoying Yang, the Unmiss Deputy Commander.

 

The United Nations says it “regrets” Kenya’s decision to withdraw its troops from UN operations in South Sudan (Unmiss) after it fired Lt-Gen Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki as the commander of its UN peacekeeping force.

The Under Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, said there was a system-wide accountability and everyone has a degree of responsibility.

Ladsous said the investigatory report findings, which showed Lt-Gen Ondieki’s leadership failure, were irrefutable.

“Kenya has been a solid contributor to our police, and troops in peacekeeping operations. It is their sovereign decision (to pull out) I respect that, but of course I regret it,” Ladsous said.

Chinese replacement

According to UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric, Lt-Gen Ondieki has been replaced on an acting basis by Maj-Gen Chaoying Yang, the Unmiss Deputy Commander.

"We have full confidence in the ability of Maj Gen Yang to perform those functions" as acting commander," Mr Dujarric said.

Kenya rejected a UN offer to nominate a replacement for Lt Gen Ondieki, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Foreign Ministry in Nairobi.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday slammed the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for Lt-Gen Ondieki’s sacking.

Uhuru said Kenya will not work with the UN in South Sudan because it “has now resorted to scapegoating Kenyans”.

We know that the people of South Sudan want peace. We know that the people of this region want peace in South Sudan. But we also know that peace will not come to South Sudan by blaming a Kenyan commander for the wider failings of the Mission to South Sudan,” said the President.

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