Kiir sends team to Kenya to remedy border tensions

Kiir sends team to Kenya to remedy border tensions
President Salva Kiir in a past address to the nation. [File, City Review]

President Salva Kiir on Saturday dispatched a delegation to Kenya to resolve tensions at the Nadapal border.

The delegation that left for Kenya included the governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Louis Lobong Lojore, the Special Presidential Envoy on Special Programs, Dr. Benjamin Bol Mel, and the Minister for Presidential Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

Eastern Equatoria State’s minister of information, Patrick Oting, confirmed through a telephone interview with The City Review that the leaders had flown to Nairobi to quell the border tension.

“The governor left for Kenya yesterday (Saturday) with the other delegates to meet the President of Kenya to discuss the issue of Nadapal,” he said.

Last week, a fight broke out between the Toposa of South Sudan and the Turkana of Kenya over land control at the border in Eastern Equatoria State.

The clashes erupted after the Turkana community allegedly attacked the Toposa in Nadapal, claiming that the Toposa pastoralists infringed on their territory.

However, Oting stated that the situation had normalized and that cars and people had begun crossing the border without fear.

“The situation is now normal, people are staying normal; it’s not like the other days,” he said.

Kenya’s President William Ruto on Saturday received the officials in Nairobi, saying South Sudan’s stability is critical to East Africa’s economic integration.

“Kenya commits to the elimination of all barriers to achieve social and economic growth in the region.”

“I received a goodwill message from South Sudan President Salva Kiir, delivered by Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, who is also the Minister for Presidential Affairs,” Ruto said.

The South Sudan local community at the border accused Kenya of trying to seize disputed territory along their border, following communal clashes that killed at least 13 people, according to media reports.