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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Put away the anger, South Sudan will never know peace without Kenya’s help

The August 2015 peace agreement in South Sudan is in mortal danger. RVI senior researcher Aly Verjee argues in the East African that the collapse of the process will destabilise South Sudan further, with untold consequences for neighbouring states.

President Kenyatta’s disappointment and anger at the decision to sack Gen Johnson Ondieki for the failures of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) peacekeeping force is evident.

As commander-in-chief, it is perhaps the gravest task of office to determine if and how compatriots serving the nation in uniform are placed in harm’s way.

In his determination of the national interest, it is entirely and correctly his prerogative to deploy, or withdraw, Kenyan forces. But in this dispute with the United Nations, it would be a tragic outcome, for Kenya, for the region, and for the world, to turn his back on and disengage from the peace process in South Sudan.

I am proud to be of Kenyan descent, and I can be particularly proud of Kenya’s efforts to bring peace to South Sudan over many decades — a shining example of what a conscientious and moral approach to foreign policy can deliver. Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese escaped the chaos of multiple civil wars and had the opportunity to gain education and skills because of our country’s welcome and hospitality.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended the long running civil war between North and South Sudan, was largely brokered because of Kenyan perseverance.

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