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Lieutenant General (rtd) Johnson Ondieki during the vetting. He has been nominated to be the Kenyan ambassador to Turkey. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ambassadorial nominee to Turkey Lieutenant General (rtd) Johnson Ondieki has broken his silence over his dismissal as South Sudan peacekeeping commander.

Since his sacking in November 2016, a situation that saw Kenya order its troops off the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNIMISS) following the disagreement, Ondieki told the committee he was sacrificed to cover up systematic failure.

“Up to date, I have never known the accusations against me but I thank God that I did the best I could,” he told the committee led by Paul Koinange (Kiambaa).

The ghost of illegal multi-billion charcoal trade in Somalia also returned to haunt Ondieki during his vetting by the National Assembly Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations yesterday.

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He said the illegal charcoal trade in Somalia was on before the entry of Kenya but noted that KDF was dragged into the issue to water down its achievements.

Ondieki’s woes came to the fore after hundreds of South Sudanese were killed by rival factions of Sudan Peace Liberation Movement, forcing the then United Secretary General Ban ki Moon to send a team of investigators to the world’s youngest nation “to save face.”  

“After four months into the job is when I got a letter inviting me to New York (US) for the induction course. When I went there, I was informed that the report has come out and it appears that you are being blamed for not protecting the civilians,” Ondieki told the committee which was yesterday chaired by Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito.

General Ondieki was vetted alongside Peter Ogega (Saudi Arabia), Chris Mburu (South Sudan) and former Ainamoi MP Benjamin Langat (Namibia).

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