Kenyan officer named UN commander in Darfur

Lt. Gen. Ngondi walks through Kismayo Airport Somalia in 2008

Former Kenya Army Commander, the man who commanded KDF Special Forces entry into Somalia, Lt-Gen Leonard Muriuki Ngondi, has been appointed by the United Nations to head a special operation in Darfur, Sudan.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement today that Lt-Gen Ngondi has been appointed Force Commander for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

He succeeds Lieutenant General Frank Mushyo Kamanzi of Rwanda to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedication and effective leadership as head of UNAMID military component.

Currently the Commandant of Kenya’s National Defence College, a position he has held since 2016, Lt. Gen. Ngondi has had a distinguished career with the Kenyan military, spanning over 39 years.

Between 2015-2016 he was the Kenya Army Commander, General Officer Commanding Western Command and General Officer Commanding Eastern Command, Chief Instructor Defence Staff College, Brigade Commander and Commandant School of Infantry.

Lt. Gen. Ngondi also served as Force Commander in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (2012) and Commanding Officer, Kenyan battalion (KENBATT) in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (2000).

He was also deployed as part of the Kenyan contingent in the United Nations Transition Assistance Group in Namibia (1990).

He is a graduate of the Kenyan National Defence College and Defence Staff College. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in human and social studies from the University of South Africa and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Studies from University of Nairobi.

Born in 1959, he is married with three children.

Little is however put in the public domain on the significance of the Kenya Special Forces in the war in Somalia, but the fact is that they preceded Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia, capturing the al Shabaab base at Kismayo, in a clean and hasty operation that established a footing for the rest of Kenya military.
And the man behind this operation was Lt. Gen. Ngondi.




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