KDF pulls out troops from South Sudan
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