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South Sudan disengagement unneighbourly, Bishops tell Uhuru

Displaced residents take shelter at the UN compound in the Tomping area of South Sudan's capital Juba on July 11, 2016/AFP

Displaced residents take shelter at the UN compound in the Tomping area of South Sudan’s capital Juba on July 11, 2016/AFP

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11- Catholics Bishops are now calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to reconsider his decision to disengage Kenya from the South Sudan peace process.

Earlier in the month, Kenya took the decision to not only pull its troops out of South Sudan but disengage itself from the peace process after the Kenyan who had been UN Mission Commander in South Sudan was unceremoniously relieved of his duties.

But the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops in a statement read by Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo insists that the country must continue playing its traditional role in pushing for peace among the troubled countries in the region.

“The situation of endless strife in South Sudan is worrying,” he asserted. “There are many refugees entering Kakuma camp from South Sudan. We call on the Kenyan Government to work with other nations for a lasting solution to the problems facing the South Sudan.”

He insisted that Kenya, “has to take its traditional role in brokering peace in South Sudan.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon took the decision to sack Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki on November 1, five months after elevating him to the position, on receiving a special report on atrocities committed in the five-year-old nation in July.

Already two batches of about 200 of the 1,500 Kenyan boots that were on the ground in South Sudan have returned.

While the UN said it respected Kenya’s decision, the US and the South Sudan government implored President Kenyatta’s administration to reconsider.

The Bishops’ sentiments were shared by former Premier Raila Odinga who said it was, “unfair” and “irresponsible” to abandon its neighbour when it is “on fire”.

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