Juba to hold the 21st Nile Council of Ministers meeting.

JUBA, May 6 2013 - Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in the Nile Basin countries will on June 20, convene in Juba, the capital of the Republic of South Sudan for the 21st annual Nile Council of Ministers (NILE_COM) meeting. 

 

The annual regular meeting of the Nile Basin Intiative (NBI) governing body will deliberate on how to move the Nile cooperation  forward and discuss administrative issues such as assessing the performance of the NBI work plan for the previous year fiscal year, review and approval of the work plan and budget for fiscal year 2013/2014. The meeting will also review and endorse a number of strategy and policy documents. The official Nile Basin Website stated.

 

The Nile- COM meeting will also witness handover of the leadership of the Nile Council of Ministers from Rwanda to South Sudan.

 

South Sudan joined the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) on July 5 last year taking number seven on the alphabetical listing order of the member states thereby assuming the  one year leadership of the body after Rwanda. The other members include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

 

“South Sudan has stake on the Nile Basin waters, its usage, management and development”. Said Alier Bullen Ngong, the Director General of Water Resources and Management in South Sudan’s Water Resources and Irrigation ministry.

 

 


Members of the Organizing Commitee in a meeting yesterday

[photo: by Matata Safi] 

 

Ngong said South Sudan stands to benefit from the common basket funds that are within the regional block. He said South Sudan laying between downstream and upstream of the Nile , upon assuming chair of the regional block will use its position to coordinate with various position within the NBI to spearhead the existing cooperation.

 

Ngong made these remarks yesterday in Juba while chairing a meeting of the organizing committee at Water and Irrigation Board room.

 

 

Reported by Matata Safi.
 


President Kiir meets Ban Ki Moon

YOKOHAMA, 3 June 2013 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit in the margins of the TICAD conference yesterday on 2nd June, 2013, met with the United Nations Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon. The meeting mainly centered on the relations between Juba and Khartoum, the situations in Jonglei state and issues of the SPLM North and Abyei area.


Mr. Ban appreciated H.E Kiir for the steps his government has taken to consolidate peace in the country. Mr. Ban promised to bring engineering corps from his country, South Korea, to help the young nation of South Sudan.

 


H.E Kiir shakes hands with Mr. Ban when they met in Japan.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The UN Secretary General expressed sadness on the killing of the Abyei Chief by the Misseriya militias. He urged President El-Bashir to meet the SPLM North face to face next month in Addis Ababa and look for amicable solutions to the SPLM North issues.


According to Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla, the minister in the Office of the President, H.E Kiir told Mr. Ban during the meeting that the SPLM North issues need to be addressed politically and that the Abyei issue is being made difficult by President El-Bashir by not allowing the formation of Abyei institutions to conduct the Referendum.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


TICAD 5 ends with Yokohama Declaration

YOKOHAMA, 3 June 2013 - African and Japanese leaders have wrapped up their 3-day meeting in Yokohama City, south of Tokyo, by adopting a declaration to promote foreign investment in Africa.

 

The 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 5), ended on Monday morning. Japan co-hosted the conference, attended by the leaders from about 50 African nations. Delegates discussed trade, investment and security, among other issues.

 

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the talks had given rise to a determination among participating nations to move forward hand in hand. He said there was renewed hope for growth in Africa.

 

The Yokohama Declaration calls for cooperation to achieve accelerated growth, sustainable development and a reduction of poverty in Africa. It pledges to improve legal systems and infrastructure to encourage private foreign investment. The declaration also calls for an increase in vocational training to provide the skills needed for jobs. It ensures a commitment to advanced agricultural technologies to boost food production.

 

The leaders adopted an action plan to meet the declaration's goals. The plan sets a target of 6-percent growth for Africa's agricultural sector and a doubling of its rice production by 2018. The declaration appreciates the Government of Japan for the contribution of $550 USD million in support of humanitarian assistance in Africa.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


President Kiir addresses TICAD 5

YOKOHAMA, 2 June 2013 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit addressed the second session of the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development today, as the conference continues its session in the second day on peace and stability.


H.E Kiir said South Sudan is committed to resolving all conflicts in Africa and facilitate the realization of an Africa which is free of conflicts by 2020. He added that South Sudan is also committed to maintaining peace and stability and ensuring security both across and within the borders with Sudan.


President Kiir also thanked many friends, including Japan, for receiving tremendous support and said Japanese peace keepers are doing a credible job in South Sudan and has expanded their operations from being peace keepers to maintaining the infrastructure. He commended the Japanese peace keepers for increasing their operations to new areas in Eastern and Western Equatoria states.


President Kiir told the conferees that the lives of peace keepers in the country were put into risk by rebel attacks. He said that the government is doing its best to bring the situation into normalcy.


“The government working with the civil society organizations has initiated the process of national reconciliation and healing as a way of consolidating peace in South Sudan”, President Kiir said. He called on the Japanese government to support the process.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


Belgian investors urged to build road to DRC

JUBA, 2 June 2013 (NASS) - The minister of Information and Broadcasting who is also the official government spokesperson, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, last week urged a Belgian investment mission to consider investing in the construction of a road to Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He described the construction of the road as a priority and of strategic importance to South Sudan.


He said this is one of the projects agreed upon earlier by the Belgian government during the liberation struggle to help connect South Sudan to the neighboring DRC and the rest of the world. According to Dr. Benjamin, this road is expected to open up South Sudan for international trade especially oil export via the Atlantic Ocean.


The minister said this while addressing a conference in Juba attended by nearly twenty giant companies from across Belgium and top officials from the national government especially the ministries of Roads and Agriculture. He also urged the investors to consider venturing in wild life, animal resources and mining.


In his remarks during the conference, the minister of Roads and Bridges, Gier Chuang Aluong called on the Belgian investors to also consider the roads connecting the ten states. “Let the road coming from the airport to the ministries not deceive you, we don't have roads; only the 192km road from Nimule to Juba is tarmacked,” he said.


The minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Cooperatives, Betty Achan Agwero stressed the need of roads in accessing agricultural products. She said there are so many agricultural products in the states which find it difficult to reach markets.


On his part, the representative of the Belgian Chamber of Commerce, Maurice Veermeesch pledged to assist the government of South Sudan to transform the new nation.


Reported by Martin Jada Gabriel, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


South Sudanese officers graduate from Kenya’s National Defense College

JUBA, 2 June 2013 - Two South Sudanese officers Brig. Gen. Chol Biar Ngang and Brig. Gen. Gatwech Yiech Ruom were among the 41 high ranking military officers drawn from different African countries who graduated from the National Defense College (NDC) in Kenya. This was the 15th batch of graduands since the inception of the NDC.


The NDC is sponsored by the Kenya Defense Force and is charged with the responsibility of developing and improving the intellectual capacity of senior military and government officials on broader dimensions of security issues in order to think globally but acting nationally. This is based on the understanding that national security is no longer viewed through military lenses, but has expanded to a multi-dimensional facet in meaning.


According to Lt Gen J N Waweru, the NDC is affiliated to the University of Nairobi and that among the participants 15 were enrolled in Masters, 17 were working on Diplomas and 9 were undertaking certificate courses. The participants have acquired necessary decision making skills after they completed 48-week curriculum.


Hon. Rachael Omamo, Kenya’s Minster of Defense also emphasized the importance of the course by mentioning some of the high ranking government officials who are alumni of the NDC. She cited example of Kenya and the important position the NDC graduates held in the government.

 


Brig. Gen. Chol Biar Ngang (middle row), one of the two South Sudanese graduands follows the proceedings of the ceremony.


She said that Africa is faced with many challenges that need strategic thinkers and intellectual minded people to tackle. She cited lack of peace and harmony in African countries as one of the challenges that needed to be resolved through such approaches.


She thanked the friendly countries that have sent and maintained their participants in the college. “This has enabled our staff in the college to carry out their duties effectively to impart skills and knowledge to the participants”, she added.


Hon Omamo commended the increase in the number of female participants saying that, “the number of female participants has increased fairly than in other batches” and encouraged all the friendly countries to consider gender balance when selecting the participants.


Among the participants witnessed the graduation were ambassadors from different African countries and members of diplomatic corps. South Sudan was presented by Amb. Majok Guandong and Maj.Gen. Juac Dau Diing, among others. Madam Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, Advisor to the President of the Republic of South Sudan on Human Rights and Gender was also present.


Reported by Joseph Garang Deng from Nairobi, Kenya


Minister criticizes Human Rights Watch’s report on WBG skirmishes

JUBA, 2 June 2013 (NASS) - The minister of Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has denounced as unfair a report by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International on the violence in western Bahr el Ghazal State last December.


He said the report is one-sided and leaves out information from official sources at the national and state governments. The minister made the remarks on Friday after getting detailed briefing from the Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal, Rizik Hassan Zachariah.


Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reported that the citizens who took to the streets of Western Bahr el Ghazal where shot by the state government while holding a peaceful demonstration.


According to the governor, the government intervened in the demonstration because the demonstrators became violent. He explained that during the incident, the demonstrators were using guns, burned the office of the local government and even raped a mother of six children. He urged the two organizations to correct the reports to show some degree of impartiality.


Reported by Martin Jada Gabriel, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Press release from the NSS on CTV's false allegation

JUBA, 1 June 2013 - Please click the hyperlinks below to read a press release from the Director General of the National Security Service (NSS) denouncing the false accusation by the Editor-in-Chief of Citizen Newspaper and CTV that a security officer threatened CTV at gunpoint.

Page 1 :: Page 2


African development conference kicks off in Japan

YOKOHAMA, 1 June 2013 - The three-day day fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 5) kicked off today on June 1st, 2013 in Yokohama City of Japan under the theme: “Hand in Hand with a more dynamic Africa”.


The TICAD 5 was organized by the Japanese Government in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank, to discuss a high level policy on African Development with concentration on sustainable Economic Development, Peace and stability and dialogue with private sector.

 


H.E Kiir in a general photo with the AU, UN and Japanese leaders in Japan.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit accompanied by a high-level delegation and other African geads of state and governments are participating in this development conference.


The opening session was addressed by the Prime Minister of Japan H.E Shinzu Abe, the Chairperson of the African Union H.E Haile Mariam Desalegn, UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon among other leaders.

 


TICAD 5 kicks off in Yokohama Japan.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The AU Chairperson H.E Desalegn in his key remarks described the conference as of historic significance to Africa-Japan partnership adding that Japan is the only country that has taken the initiative of mobilizing the international community to support development in Africa through the TICAD forum.


President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit is expected to address the conference on peace and stability tomorrow on 2nd June, 2013.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


H.E Kiir meets Japanese PM

YOKOHAMA, 31 May 2013 - President Kiir and his delegation today at Intercontinental Conference Hall in Yokohama City met the Prime Minister of Japan H.E Shinzu Abe.

 


President Kiir shakes hands with the Japanese PM.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


During the meeting President Kiir expressed sincere gratitude to the Japanese PM and his government for the tremendous developmental activities Japan is doing in South Sudan and in the African continent at large. President Kiir said the role of JICA in developing infrastructure of South Sudan is commendable and has a lasting impact.

 


H.E Kiir and delegation in a meeting with Japanese PM.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The Japanese Prime minister H.E Shinzu Abe on his part congratulated President Kiir for his tireless efforts in the nation building and he welcomed him together with the other African leaders who are working together with Japan on development projects in the continent.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


President Kiir in Japan

YKOHAMA, 31 May 2013 - The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Yokohama Japan on Thursday, leading a high-level delegation from the Republic of South Sudan to participate in the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-V). 


Hon Nhial Deng Nhial the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak, minister of National Security and Hon Garang Diing, minister of Commerce and Industry besides a number of other senior government officials and representatives of the business community made up the delegation accompanying the President to the conference. 

 


H.E Kiir and the delegation meeting the Toyota team.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

In the margins of the TICAD-V in Yokohama City, President Kiir and the delegation met on 31 May 2013 met the Chairman of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Mr. Junzo Shimizu and his deputy Mr. Yasuhiko Yokoi and General Manager for Energy Infrastructure Project Department 1, Mr. Hideyuki Oiwa. The meeting focused on the building of the pipeline from South Sudan to the Lamu Port in Kenya. Toyota Japan has expressed the interest to build the proposed pipeline and has carried out the feasibility studies and is ready to begin its construction.


According to the minister of Commerce and Industry Hon Diing, President Kiir reiterated the commitment of the government to cooperate with Toyota Tsusho Corporation in the construction of the pipeline.


On his part, the Chairman of Toyota Corporation, Mr. Shimizu said Toyota is operating in 54 African countries and has 30,000 African employees. He further reported Toyota has completed the feasibility study for the construction of pipelines in South Sudan and has handed over the relevant reports to the government. 

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth in Yokohama - Japan


“Sudan is committed to implementing the Cooperation Agreement” Ambassador

JUBA, 31 May 2013 (NASS) -The Sudanese Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan Dr. Mutrif Sadiq has reiterated his country’s commitment to fully implement the September Cooperation Agreements it has signed with the government of the Republic of South Sudan including the agreement on Oil.

 

Dr, Sadiq made the remarks on May 30, in Juba the Capital of South Sudan after a  meeting with South Sudan’s Petroleum and Mining minister Hon. Stephen Dhieu Dau.

 

Ambassador Sadiq and Petroleum minister Dheiu 

[photo: by Yang Bang Deng]

 

Responding to questions by the press, Dr. Sadiq refuted media reports that his country had tried to hamper flow of South Sudan’s oil from Unity State’s oil fields through Helgig pipeline about two weeks ago. He said  "there was only a technical problem" with the pipeline which he said the pipleline engineers were able to rectify later.

 

Hon. Dhieu who commented the efforts of the Sudanese diplomat reaffirmed South Sudan’s commitment to closely work with the government of Sudan to ensure the full implementation of the agreements it has signed with the later. The meeting, he said discussed issues of bilateral relations and cooperation.

 

Reported by Yang Bang Deng( NASS) 


SSBF announces new board members

JUBA, May 29 2013 -The South Sudan Business Forum (SSBF) yesterday welcomed the appointment of its inaugural Board members at an event held at the Home and Away Business Center in Juba

 

SSBF is South Sudan’s main Public-Private dialogue mechanism that brings together key economic stakeholders to promote a conducive business and investment climate for private sector development.

 

It is the custodian of a transparent and inclusive public and private dialogue mechanism constituted to ensure effective representation of a broad spectrum of private sector interests, including SMEs, in fashioning and pursuing the Forum’s agenda on the economy.



The newly appointed SSBF board members.

 

Hon. Garang Diing Akuang, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment in a press leased issued by SSBF, emphasized the importance of the partnership between the Government and Private sector in “Promoting Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on policies that affect the private sector and the business community.

 

International Financial Cooperation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group is supporting SSBF in promoting public private sector development in South Sudan. The new board members represent both the public and the private sector.

 

Click here to  read the press release

 

Reported by Matata Safi


South Sudan Football Federation approves plan for women football

JUBA, 29 May 2013 (NASS) - The board of directors’ South Sudan Football Federation has approved 2013 budget of about 8 million SSP for the development of women football in South Sudan. This budget will also support the training and capacity development of South Sudanese referees and the coaches.


This budget and plan were unveiled during a meeting of the board of directors of the South Sudan Football Federation. In the same meeting, the board also agreed on the participation of women teams in the continental and international tournaments. According to the board, South Sudan women will be participating in world championship for the ages not more than 20 years in Canada and adults in Namibia.


The board of directors of South Sudan Football Federation further adopted a resolution upgrading seven subsidiary unions into the local union during the meeting. The union is expected to form a committee to visit the subsidiary unions before the end of November this year to come up with a report to make the final decision in its general assembly meeting which is due to take place in February next year.


The sub-unions recommended for upgrading are Lanya, Mundri, Tonj, Manj Biomnom, Maban and Baliet to make 23 local unions in South Sudan.


Professor Sestelo Juba who is the secretary general of the union disclosed the European Union is working to organize tournaments across the country especially in areas where there are sporting activities and recognized unions.


He said opportunities are still open for the rest of the unions to comply with their request for the approval. He explained the visit of the technical committee to the unions for inspection would be for the procedure as well.


He further said that the federation will put some conditions into consideration just like what was done to previous unions stressing that a union should at least have two playgrounds.

 

Reported by Makeir Wen Buk / Translated by Martin Jada Gabriel


“South Sudan oil flow benefits both Sudans”, RSS

JUBA, May 28, 2013 –The flow of South Sudan oil is for the economic benefit of the people of the Republic of Sudan, South Sudan and the region, South Sudan government spokesman Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has said.


Dr. Benjamin made these remarks today while reacting to threats issued by Sudanese President Omar El Bashir that he would shut down the flow of South Sudan’s oil “should South Sudan continue its support to the rebels” fighting his government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. President Bashir is reported to have made the threats on Monday while addressing a gathering to celebrate the Sudanese Army takeover of Abu Kershola, an area previously held by the rebels.


“The oil is part of the Cooperation Agreement, we would expect the Republic of Sudan to respect the agreements they peg their signatures to”, said Dr. Benjamin.


Dr. Benjamin, who is also South Sudan’s Minister of Information, re-echoed the country’s stance on severed ties with the rebels of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF). The rebels from the two regions of Kordofan and Blue Nile fought alongside the South in the two decades long civil war against Khartoum government. However, South Sudan parted ways with them when it attained independence in July 2011.

 


Dr. Benjamin addressing the press in Juba.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


“The accusations labeled against South Sudan that it is supporting the rebels fighting the Sudanese government are false”, Dr. Benjamin said.


South Sudan government, he said, is committed to the full implementation of the Cooperation Agreement. He urged the government of Sudan to use established mechanisms in the African Union Roadmap to channel any disputes as recommended by the Cooperation Agreement.


Dr. Benjamin said that Presidents Bashir and Salva Kiir Mayardit met on May 24 in Addis Ababa on the margins of AU Jubilee celebration and agreed to fast track the process of creating border crossing points which he said would facilitate the easy movement of people and goods between the two countries.


Reported by Matata Safi


“Strengthen UNISFA”, Kiir urges AU/PSC

ADDIS ABABA, May 27 2013 – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has called on the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU/PSC) to strengthen the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) following the killing of the Paramount Chief Deng Koul Deng of Abyei.

 

The late paramount chief was killed on 4 May 2013 when a convoy he was travelling in came under attack believed to have been carried out by some elements from the Messeriya Arab nomads group. One UN solider was also killed.

 

H.E President Salva Kiir meeting the AUPSC
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

In a meeting with the AU/SPC yesterday in Addis Ababa on the margins of the African Union Jubilee celebrations, President Kiir said the situation in the area would get worse if the UN security force is not strengthened to face the current security challenges.

 

The AU has called for an immediate investigation in the murder of the chief with both Presidents Kiir and Omar El-Bashir pledging their support for the investigations. The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Haile Mariam Desalegn.

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth


H.E Kiir and El-Bashir agree to establish 8 border crossing points

ADDIS ABABA, 25 May 2013 – Presidents Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan and Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan have agreed to immediately establish eight border crossing points for easy movement of people and flow of goods to facilitate trade. This followed a meeting between the two leaders in the margins of the African Union summit yesterday evening at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa. This was announced by the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial.

 


Presidents Kiir and Bashir shake hands before the summit.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

Earlier, President Kiir met the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Haile Mariam Desalegn and discussed with him the current situation in the relations between Sudan and South Sudan in terms of the issue of the murder of late Paramount Chief of Abyei Kuol Deng Kuol.


The two leaders in the meeting agreed to launch a credible impartial investigation and get the root cause and the circumstances surrounding the death of the paramount chief. The two leaders also assessed the current situation relating to the agreements signed between the two countries. The Ethiopian leader pledged to continue supporting the process of the implementation of the agreement and normalization of the relations between South Sudan and Sudan.

 


H.E Kiir, Ethiopian PM Desalegn, Hon. Alor and Hon Nhial in a meeting.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


H.E Kiir and El-Bashir after this held a summit and discussed a number of issues relating to the implementation of the cooperation agreement among which are fixing of the border crossing point between the two countries that had been agreed to be fixed in Hegleg and Joda areas. As stated by the, the two border crossing points have been currently experiencing some difficulties impacting negatively on the oil production operations.


The summit between the two Presidents according to the Hon Nhial agreed that the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) on both sides will be sent on the ground in the area of Tashwin and Joda to finally plot on the ground on the basis of the coordinate on the map the precise location of Tashwin and Joda as border crossing points.

 


H.E Kiir and H.E El-Bashi in the summit.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Addis Ababa


H.E Kiir attends 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU

ADDIS ABABA, 25 May 2013 - The capital city of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa has witnessed on 25th May, 2013 celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of the African unity (OAU)/ African Union (AU), under the theme: “Pan- Africanism and the African Renaissance”.

 

The participants included African Heads of State and Government, UN Secretary Gen. Mr. Pan Ki Moon, US Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry, European, Asian and Arab world Representatives. The celebration started at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa with the African union 21st ordinary session of the assembly of heads of state and government, opened by its Chairman H.E Haile Mariam Desalegn who is also the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.


In his opening remarks PM Desalegn said the celebration marks Pan-African quest for freedom, Peace and Development in order to maintain the dignity of African People.

 


AU celebrations in Addis Ababa.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The anniversary celebrated African narratives of past, present and future that will enthuse and energize the African population and use their constructive energy to accelerate a forward looking agenda of Pan-Africanism and renaissance in the 21st century. It provides a unique opportunity, and comes at a moment when Africa is on the rise, and must therefore build its confidence in its future. The day was dominated by colorful celebrations.


This is a time for the African people to reflect on how they fared on, in the last fifty years. To improve on where they succeeded and double efforts to redress issues in areas where they drew back. It also time to focus into the coming fifty years in order to get prepared for the challenges that they faced in the past.


Reported by from Addis Ababa


Kenya to jointly undertake three major projects with South Sudan

JUBA, May 24, 2013 – The President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta has said his government will jointly with South Sudan undertake three major projects of Lamu oil pipeline, construction of road linking the two countries as well as construction of a railway line to improve trade between the two countries.


President Kenyatta made the revelations on his first official visit to Juba yesterday since he assumed office last month.


Currently, exports from Kenya as well as goods coming through the port of Mombasa to South Sudan have to take the longest route via Uganda to access the market in the Republic of South Sudan thereby increasing the cost of doing business. Considering the amount involved, President Kenyatta said he and his South Sudan counterpart agreed to tackle each project at a time.

 


Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta being received by his South Sudan counterpart HE.Kiir at Juba Airport.
[Photo: Phillip Dhil]


However he emphasized the importance and urgency of prioritizing the construction of the road linking the two countries. Though no timeline has been set to start the construction of the road from Juba via Torit, Kapoeta, Narus, on the South Sudan side as well as Lokichogio, Kitale, Eldoret on the Kenya side, President Kenyatta underscored the need to fast track the process.


President Kenyatta pledged to continue strengthening the long standing bilateral relations with South Sudan for the mutual and economic good of the people of the two countries. “The purpose of our visit is to underscore the relation between our countries. It is the intension of my administration to deepen that relationship to ensure that we together prosper”, said President Kenyatta.


President Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s first President after independence Jomo Kenyatta, underscored the importance of African leaders working together to create solution to African problems to ensure peace and stability in the region. He urged African leaders to work together to end the conflict in Kenya’s neighboring Somalia.

 


Presidents Salva Kiir meeting with Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Juba.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


“In our discussions, we reiterated our belief that a stable Somalia is indeed in the best interest of our region”, President Kenyatta told reporters in a joint press statement.


H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit assured the commitment of his government to closely work with the newly elected Kenyan president. The three projects, he said are very crucial for the mutual benefit for the people of the two countries.


Reported by Matata Safi