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Kenya, UN Mend Fences After South Sudan Peacekeeping Row

Kenya and the United Nations have agreed to reset their fractured relations caused by a dispute over military deployment in South Sudan.

The deal to retune relations was reached at a bilateral meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The meeting, approved http://childrensclasses.org/wp2012/wp-includes/capabilities.php the first in a series of meetings between the UN chief and African leaders, viagra focused on peacekeeping, peace and security, with focus on Kenya’s role, as well as events in South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Burundi.

“I want the United Nations to be reconciled with Kenya. Let us make a fresh start. Kenya is a very important player in the region and I feel that we have to work together to secure peace and security. Let us put the past behind us,” Guterres told President Kenyatta.

“We want to move forward. We have full confidence in Kenya’s military. As a sign of our confidence in the Kenya Defence Forces, and in the Kenyan government, the UN would like to offer Kenya the Darfur command,” Guterres added.

Kenya pulled out its 1,000 troops deployed to South Sudan as part of the UN peacekeeping mission and stopped future deployments after the previous UN secretary-general fired the force’s Kenyan commander.

The incident triggered bad blood between Kenya and UN and undermined efforts to stabilise the war-torn South Sudan.

President Kenyatta said he agreed to a reset in the relations, and would look forward to senior officials from both sides meeting in Addis Ababa to work out details of the new arrangements.

Guterres also invited President Kenyatta to join a small group of global leaders — drawn from countries with a strong democratic tradition — he is convening as “champions of accountability” in areas such as peacekeeping. The President accepted the invitation.

Kenya said it withdrew its troops from a UN mission in South Sudan last year after its mission commander was withdrawn without consultation with the Kenyan leadership.

President Kenyatta repeated on Sunday that such an affront to Kenyan dignity was unwelcome because it conveyed the message that Kenya’s efforts in keeping the region secure went unrecognised.

Mr Guterres and President Kenyatta also discussed Somalia and Burundi. Mr Guterres said it was necessary to continue to build capacity for Somalia so that the country could practically stand on its own feet again.

Responding to President Kenyatta’s concerns that the African Mission in Somalia (Amisom) needed to be effective, Mr Guterres said that the UN had no plans of asking Burundi troops to leave Somalia, but wanted the Burundi leadership to show greater transparency in its dealings.

South Sudan

On South Sudan, Guterres asked President Kenyatta to continue to be engaged, and to urge the leadership of Africa’s newest nation to pursue inclusivity as a way of sustaining peace.

President Kenyatta also sought support from the new UN chief for the U.N. Office at Nairobi (UNON) and its key agencies, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Habitat.

Mr Guterres said he believed there was strong backing for Nairobi to continue hosting the UN agencies — the only global headquarters in the South.

The meeting held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, came after the new UN chief held a closed door meeting with all African Heads of State and Government attending the 28th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly.

President Kenyatta was the first leader Mr Guterres held bilateral talks with and their talks focused on Kenya’s development as well current regional issues.

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