UN chief sacks South Sudan peace force commander

Wednesday November 02 2016

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, on the red carpet, arrives at State House Juba in a recent visit. PHOTO | FILE

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday sacked the commander of the peacekeeping force in South Sudan following a damning report showing failure to protect civilians during recent violence in Juba.

The report from a UN special investigation found that a lack of leadership in the UN mission culminated in a "chaotic and ineffective response" during the heavy fighting in the capital from July 8 to 11.

Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki of Kenya had been the force commander since May.

Aid workers

Peacekeepers abandoned their posts and failed to respond to pleas for help from aid workers under attack in a nearby hotel, according to a summary of the report.

The UN mission known as UNMISS has 16,000 troops deployed in South Sudan, which has been at war since December 2013.


"The special investigation found that UNMISS did not respond effectively to the violence due to an overall lack of leadership, preparedness and integration among the various components of the mission," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Serious shortcomings

Chinese peacekeepers abandoned their positions at least twice and Nepalese peacekeepers failed to stop looting inside the UN compound, the inquiry found.

Mr Ban said he was "deeply distressed by these findings" and "alarmed by the serious shortcomings identified by the special investigation".