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A United Nations armored vehicle passes displaced people near a U.N. camp, Malakal, South Sudan, Dec. 30, 2013 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

Kenya’s Troop Withdrawal Could Seal the Fate of South Sudan’s Peace Process

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016

In a sharp rebuke to the United Nations, Kenya has started the process of pulling its troops from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. To make matters worse, Kenya is simultaneously disengaging from peace efforts in South Sudan, where a 15-month-old agreement to bring together warring parties was already on the verge of collapse. The moves by Kenya, which has been a key regional force in pushing for South Sudanese stability, could cement its failure.

Kenya’s moves come in response to the firing of Lt. Gen. Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki, the Kenyan commander of the U.N. peacekeeping force in South Sudan, known as UNMISS, earlier this month. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sacked him in the wake of an independent investigation into UNMISS’ response to July clashes in South Sudan’s capital, Juba. The investigators determined that command shortcomings within UNMISS contributed to a “poor performance” among military contingents during the violence, which left more than 250 people dead, including two peacekeepers. ...

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