KDF pulls out troops from South Su­dan

The Star (Kenya) - - News - /JACK OWUOR JOSEPH NDUNDA @MuthuiN­dunda

The first batch of the more than 1,000 Kenyan troops re­called from South Su­dan by Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta landed at the JKIA yes­ter­day.

Some 100 sol­diers ar­rived from Juba in an Ocean Air­lines plane and 100 more were ex­pected to jet in.

The gov­ern­ment with­drew the troops fol­low­ing the sack­ing of a Kenyan gen­eral in charge of the United Na­tions Mis­sion in South Su­dan last week.

UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon fired Lt Gen Johnson Ondieki for “se­ri­ous short­com­ings in the lead­er­ship” of UNMISS, lead­ing to a chaotic and in­ef­fec­tive re­sponse to the vi­o­lence. UNMISS is a peace­keep­ing con­tin­gent com­pris­ing troops from var­i­ous coun­tries.

Kenya with­drew her troops in protest over Ondieki’s sack­ing.

Ma­jor Gen Ben­jamin Bi­wott, in charge of East­ern Com­mand, said the with­drawal will con­tinue un­til all sol­diers are back. “The ex­er­cise will con­tinue de­pend­ing on how the UN will pro­vide lo­gis­tics,” Bi­wott said.

He said the Kenyan troops have been in­volved in more than 40 peace mis­sions and were will­ing to help South Su­dan to re­gain sta­bil­ity. “But de­ci­sions and agree­ments are made at another level. The Pres­i­dent has di­rected that we with­draw and we have to com­ply with the di­rec­tive,” Bi­wott said. The sol­diers went into the war-torn coun­try in May and were spread out in three re­gions, in­clud­ing the cap­i­tal, Juba.

Ma­jor Gen Ben­jamin Bi­wott af­ter re­ceiv­ing the 100 sol­diers from S Su­dan at JKIA yes­ter­day

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