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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

More Kenyan troops arrive from South Sudan

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The second batch of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers arrived in Kenya on Friday as the country’s opposition criticized the order to have them withdraw from South Sudan’s peacekeeping mission.

The first batch of another 100 soldiers arrived from Juba on Wednesday. So far, 200 soldiers who were taking part in the South Sudan mission have returned home.

They are among the 1,000 soldiers to return home after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced he would pull out Kenyan troops serving under the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) following the sacking of the Kenyan commander of the  UNMISS over the hotel attack in Juba in July.

A UN report attributed the July attacks on a civilian compound and a site that houses UN staff to lack of leadership among key senior mission personnel, which culminated in a chaotic and ineffective response to the violence.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Friday faulted Kenyatta for ordering KDF troops to withdraw from South Sudan, saying the Kenyan leader may have made the decision out of anger and without due consultation on its implications.

“The manner in which the president has handled this particular incident and the unnecessary diplomatic row he is opening with the international community through the UN is regrettable,” Odinga said.

Kenyatta strongly defended Kenya’s decision to pull troops out of South Sudan, saying regional peace should not come at the expense of the country’s dignity, honor and pride.

Kenyatta reiterated that the structural failures of the mission should not be blamed on the Kenyan general.

“Even if there were problems, it would have been courteous for the UN to consult IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) member states before taking the drastic decision,” Kenyatta said.

He said Kenya has communicated its decision and forwarded its complains to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 

 

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