National Defence College Commandant, Lt. General Leonard Ngondi apointed Force Commander for the African Union-United Nations in Darfur, Sudan. PHOTO/KDF
By PATRICK MAYOYO
Former Kenya Army Commander and 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 Lt-Gen Ngondi has been apointed as 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 the National Defence College, a position he has held since 2016, Lt-Gen Ngondi has had a distinguished career with the Kenyan Defence Forces, spanning over thirty-nine years.
In 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.
Lt-Gen Leonard Muriuki in 2011 was in charge of Kenyan troops in Somalia in the ongoing war against Al-shabaab.
The big role befell Lt-Gen Ngondi when he was serving as the General Officer Commanding Eastern Region, Kenya.
KDF Special Forces preceded the rest of the Kenyan troops for their entry and mission in Somalia.
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, first of all capturing al Shabaab base at Kismayo, in a clean and hasty operation that established a footing for the rest of Kenya military fighters who have gone ahead to bring down radicalists.
And the man behind this operation was none other than Lt-Gen Ngondi.
See also: Revealed: Kenya Special Forces, Frontline in War on Al Shabaab
Prior to his being named as the new commander of the Kenya Army, Lt-Gen Leonard Muriuki has served generously in the military, both locally and internationally.
In November 2012, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced appointed Lt-Gen Leonard Muriuki of Kenya as the Force Commander for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
From November 2010, he served as the General Officer Commanding Eastern Region, Kenya. Between 2005 and 2010, he held brigade-level commands and served as Deputy Commandant of the Kenya Defence Staff College.
Lt-Gen Leonard Muriuki has held staff positions at army and formation-level headquarters, and he served as a commanding officer of the Kenyan units in the United Nations Transition Assistance Group in Namibia in 1989 and the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone in 2000.
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