, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 11 – Kenya has elevated its consulate in Juba to a fully-fledged Embassy, two days after South Sudan became the newest state in the world.
Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Professor George Saitoti said Kenya will soon dispatch an ambassador to Juba.
“The government fully understands and is aware of the task ahead for the country. We have therefore elevated our consulate in Juba to an embassy and the President will soon announce the ambassador to head up the mission in South Sudan,” Prof Saitoti said on Monday.
Currently, the Kenyan consulate in Juba is headed by Cleland Leshore.
South Sudan officially became the 54th African nation on Saturday after years of civil war which claimed the lives of more than two million people.
World leaders have pledged to fully support South Sudan as it embarks in re-building itself.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka had on Sunday called for the immediate establishment of a joint ministerial commission to spearhead cooperation between Kenya and the newly independent Republic of South Sudan.
The joint commission, he said, will provide the framework for deepening of bilateral ties and explore new frontiers of engagement for the peoples of the two neighbouring states.
The Vice President made the proposal on Sunday at State House in Juba, where he held talks with President Salva Kiir.
President Salva Kiir acknowledged the role Mr Musyoka Played in the 13-year negotiations that led to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Nairobi in 2005.
“The Republic of South Sudan will forever be indebted to you and other leaders who helped us realise the dream of peace and freedom” President Kiir said.
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