86 more Kenyans flown home from South Sudan

December 22, 2013 4:43 pm
The international community is racing against time to save the world's youngest nation from an all-out civil war. AFP.
The international community is racing against time to save the world’s youngest nation from an all-out civil war. AFP.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 22- 86 more Kenyans were flown home on Sunday from Juba, South Sudan, where military clashes intensified despite efforts by the international community to restore peace.

Devolution Principal Secretary John Konchellah who received the Kenyans at the Wilson Airport said efforts were underway to bring back home the 1500 other Kenyans still stranded in the clash-hit nation.

All the Kenyans airlifted home are provided with transport to facilitate their travel to their respective homes from Nairobi.

“I want to assure Kenyans that we are doing our level best to ensure that our people who are in South Sudan will be evacuated safely,” Konchellah said.

The first batch of 22 Kenyans were flown home on Saturday, aboard a military plane which went back to Sudan for more Kenyans on Sunday.

Konchellah said the government was giving priority to women and children, “because they stand more vulnerable in times of chaos.”

The government through the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) aircrafts has so far sent over 30,000 tonnes of food with 15,000 tonnes expected to be delivered every day.

“The biggest challenge is how to carry huge luggage to South Sudan, like food and medicine, but we are liaising with the Kenyan Embassy to ensure all goes well,” the PS said.

Back home, relatives of stranded Kenyans in South Sudan continued to camp at the Wilson airport, where they waited to receive their family members as the evacuation exercise intensified.

Some of the family members who spoke to Capital FM News, said they were eager to be re-united with their kin following the intensified fighting between military faction in the world’s newest nation.

The clash started last week after an attempted coup on President Salva Kiir’s government, by forces loyal to his former Vice President Riek Machar who insist on getting him out of power.

“I have been waiting for my sister, Mercy Wangare. She called me and said she will be arriving at around 3 o’clock this (Sunday) afternoon. I am so happy that the government has brought them back,” Jane Njenga from Kiambu said.

“I was waiting for my cousin Catherine. She has arrived and I am with her here. I am so grateful to the government,” Mercy from Nairobi said, smiling broadly.

Two Kenyans are among more than 500 people who have been killed since the military clashes started, last week.


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