UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday sacked the Kenyan UN commander of the peacekeeping force in South Sudan, Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki, leading to the Kenyan government announcing troops withdrawal from South Sudan.
The UN Chief cited a report from a UN Special Investigation detailing the misconduct of peacekeeping troops in Juba as his reason for replacing the commander.
The report found that a ”lack of preparedness and ineffective command” in the UN mission culminated in a “chaotic and ineffective response” during an attack by South Sudanese troops on civilians.
The report reads:
“During the attack, civilians were subjected to and witnessed gross human rights violations, including murder, intimidation, sexual violence and acts amounting to torture perpetrated by armed government soldiers.”
The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the UN Chief’s decision on Wednesday, expressing its dismay in the manner in which the UN Investigation was handled.
The ministry condemned the decision, saying that blaming a single person for the shortcomings of the mission will not address the root causes of the unfortunate incidences or offer sustainable solutions to the recurring violence in South Sudan.
The report also added:
”The process leading to this unfortunate decision not only lacked transparency but did not involve any formal consultation with the government of Kenya. This demonstrates complete disregard of our key role and responsibility in South Sudan.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs went on to say that the continued deployment of its troops in South Sudan was ”no longer tenable and is inimical to their safety and well-being.”
With immediate effect, it announced its troops withdrawal from South Sudan.
The Ministry also made clear it was reversing its decision to contribute troops authorized by the UN Security Council in August to a 4000-strong UN civilian protection force for South Sudan.