re posted from Presstv.com
First batch of Kenyan troops return from UN mission in South Sudan
The first batch of Kenyan troops, who served in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, have returned home, in response to the UN’s sacking of a Kenyan commander in charge of the forces over negligence of duty.
About 100 troops of a total of around 1,000 Kenyan soldiers landed in Nairobi on Wednesday, a week after Kenya said it would pull out its forces from the UN mission in South Soudan, known as UNMISS, in protest at the firing of Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki.
“Today we have started our withdrawal from South Sudan following President [Uhuru] Kenyatta’s directive last week,” Kenyan Major General Benjamin Biwott told reporters at Nairobi’s international airport, adding that the remaining soldiers would arrive in coming days.
The official said Kenya had served in over 40 peacekeeping missions, adding, “In all the places we have gone, we have performed very well.”
Last week, the Kenyan president ordered the withdrawal, accusing the UN of covering up its failure to establish peace in South Sudan by blaming the Kenyan commander.
Kenyatta said last week that the UN was “scapegoating” the Kenyan forces deployed to South Sudan for the failing of its mission in the country.
The Kenyan commander was sacked after the results of a special UN investigation blamed him and a “lack of leadership” in UNMISS for the “chaotic and ineffective response” to an attack in a hotel in the capital in July.
Dozens of people were killed from July 8 and 11, and at least five foreign aid workers were reportedly raped when between 80 and 100 South Sudanese soldiers overran the hotel.
The Kenyan government has rejected the findings of the inquiry.
The attack occurred during several days of fighting between forces loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former vice president and now rebel leader, Riek Machar.