, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 9 – President Uhuru Kenyatta, the current Chairman of the East African Community and Rapporteur of IGAD met South Sudan Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin at State House, Mombasa where he briefed him on the Juba crisis.
Marial delivered President Salva Kiir’s gratitude for the support Kenya is providing to his country to address the crisis and humanitarian assistance to the affected people.
The Foreign Minister equally briefed President Kenyatta on the prevailing situation and the progress of the peace talks currently underway in Addis Ababa.
During the talks, President Kenyatta assured President Salva Kiir and the people of South Sudan of Kenya’s continued support during this difficult period.
The President also explained that Kenya will continue working with regional countries and the international community to support constructive dialogue for a lasting and sustainable solution to the current armed and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.
Later in Nairobi, Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Marial also held a meeting with Kenyan financial and insurance investors in South Sudan. The meeting provided an opportunity for the investors to be briefed on the prevailing situation on the ground as well as the mediation process and way forward. Representatives from Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, Britam, UAP Insurance and CfC Stanbic attended the meeting.
Marial thanked the Government of Kenya and in particular President Kenyatta for the support he has extended to the people of South Sudan. In the same breath he also expressed his gratitude to the Kenyan investors for maintaining their presence in South Sudan even in the crisis period.
He assured the meeting of the commitment of the Government of South Sudan to engage in dialogue within the IGAD framework for a long-lasting solution.
In addition, the Government of South Sudan will put necessary measures in place to protect staff and the investors’ assets.
Kenya is in the front line in resolving the South Sudan crisis after sending one of its respected diplomat Lazarus Sumbeiywo to head the talks in Ethiopia, under the IGAD framework.
Although parties representing President Kiir and his rival Riek Machar, whom he sacked last year have not reached a substantive agreement to end the chaos, negotiators have said they are confident they will resolve the matter to save the world’s youngest nation from plunging into a civil war.
Thousands of people have been killed and many more displaced after the military fighting following claims by Kiir, who has accused Machar of attempting a coup on his government.
Curiously, Machar is represented in the talks by some of Kiir’s ministers and government officials-including Rebecca Garang – the wife of the late John Garang who is credited for getting the country’s from the North.