United States in Talks With Kenya Over Withdrawal of KDF From South Sudan

The United States government has responded towards President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to withdraw Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) from United Nations Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss).

During a daily press briefing in Washington DC, State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated that US was closely mornitoring the situation following Kenyatta's resolution announced on Wednesday.

He divulged that his government 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),” stated Toner.

The spokesman noted that the Kenyan troops were essential in supporting Unmiss adding that he hoped KDF would continue supporting the mission.

Asked if the US government was talking to Kenyatta to rescind his pronouncement that KDF ceases participating in the peace keeping mission, Toner maintained that the final decision would only be made by the Kenyan government.

“We certainly appreciate the invaluable role that Kenya has played in carrying out Unmiss’s peacekeeping operations and it’s our hope that they’ll continue to play the role. Ultimately, they’re going to make their own sovereign decisions,” he assured.

On Wednesday, Kenya expressed disappointment in UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's announcement that they had sacked Lt Gen Johnson Kimani Ondieki, the Kenyan commander of the operation.

This followed a report by special UN investigators who cited multiple failures on the part of Unmiss leaders in protecting civilians during attacks by government and rebel forces in Juba in July.

Announcing the decision to disengage from the mission, the Head of State stated that it was wrong for “systemic dysfunctionality" within Unmiss to be blamed on the senior KDF Commander.
United States in Talks With Kenya Over Withdrawal of KDF From South Sudan United States in Talks With Kenya Over Withdrawal of KDF From South Sudan Reviewed by on 10:50:00 PM Rating: 5

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