Canada urges Kenya to continue with peacekeeping missions

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/11/10 20:50:50

Canada has called on Kenya to continue supporting peace initiatives, saying the country's participation in many of the UN peacekeeping missions has significantly contributed to global peace, security and stability.

Visiting Canadian Foreign Minister Stephan Dion also hailed Kenya for its role in peacekeeping missions in the world, saying his country would want to partner with Nairobi in spearheading peace initiatives across the world.

"We are seriously considering embarking on peacekeeping missions in countries facing instability challenges including Africa. I am sure we will have an opportunity to work closely with you," Dion said when he held talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi on Wednesday evening.

A statement issued on Thursday revealed that the Canadian minister said his country was also keen on scaling up its bilateral relations with Kenya, especially in peace and security initiatives.

The East African nation is the world's 29th largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping.

Nairobi currently deploys several military and police personnel to the UN operations in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and South Sudan.

Speaking during the meeting, Kenyatta affirmed Kenya's commitment to regional and global peace but emphasized the need to restructure the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. (UNMISS).

Kenyatta said Kenya would not accept to be a scapegoat for structural failures of the UN mission to South Sudan.

He said the government made a decision to withdraw its troops from South Sudan because it was not consulted by the UN on the sacking of Lt-Gen Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki.

The president observed that Lt-Gen Ondieki had barely settled into the new role before the eruption of the recent skirmishes in South Sudan.

President 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 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, noting that Kenya would appreciate working with Canada in peace initiatives.

The sacking of the Kenyan General prompted Kenyatta to order withdrawal of about 1,000 soldiers who were part of the UNMISS. The first batch of 100 soldiers arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Posted in: DIPLOMATIC CHANNEL

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