Kenya may reject future UN peace missions - angry CS
Mohamed says sacking Ondieki humiliates Kenya and insults its willingness to advocate peace. ‘We are a sovereign state and cannot be ridiculed by an organisation’
Kenya might not take part in future peacekeeping missions after it was humiliated by the sacking of its commander in South Sudan, Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed has said.
Early this month, Kenya ordered the immediate withdrawal of 1,100 troops from South Sudan after UN chief Ban Ki-moon fired Lt Gen Johnson Ondieki.
The UN said he failed to protect nearby civilians under attack by soldiers. Some aid workers were killed, some raped and others injured in the violence that made global headlines.
Speaking on the phone on Sunday, Mohamed termed the dismissal “a humiliation of Kenya’s willingness to advocate for peace in the continent”. “We are a sovereign state and we cannot be ridiculed by an organisation. The country is really contemplating on its involvement in future peacekeeping missions,” the CS said.
She said a series of errors occurred during the dismissal. Kenya did not get an official communication explaining his removal, Mohamed said.
She said despite Kenya’s efforts to resolve the issue amicably, its efforts were futile as the UN failed to respond. “The Kenyan government tried to reach the offices of UN and they failed to respond,” the CS said.
She criticised the decision to dismiss the commander without a full report. “The UN acted on an executive report. We had expected that as an international organisation it would wait for the full report before giving a verdict,” Amina said.
She also said Ondieki had only served as head of the mission for 21 days before the violence erupted.
“Ondieki started working on June 17, violence erupted on July 8. He had barely taken charge of the mission. I don’t see why he is carrying the whole blame over the issue,” the CS said.
Kenya has dispatched more than 30,000 troops in more than 40 missions since 1974.
The first batch of KDF troops from the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan arrive at JKIA on November 9. The President ordered immediate troop withdrawal in response to sacking of the Kenyan commander of the UN force, Lt Gen Johnson Ondieki