NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 16 – Kenyans evacuated from South Sudan have narrated the tribulations they went through during the one week of fighting Juba.
Some said they lost most of their businesses which were looted or burnt but are lucky to be alive and back in the country.
“It was terrible. We lost all our investments to looters and people who burnt our houses,” one Kenyan said on arrival at the JKIA while carrying a polythene bag. “I was an investor in Juba and can’t believe I am back home with a paper bag.”
The first plane carrying 104 Kenyans landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 2 pm, with men, women and children who were stranded in Juba since last week. Another plane carrying 100 people was expected later Saturday.
Some accused the government of taking too long to launch the evacuations because other countries like Uganda and Sudan started taking their citizens on Monday.
“We could not understand why the evacuations took all this long yet other nationals were taken away long time ago,” another Kenyan said, “adding “we couldn’t get out of our houses until when we were escorted to the Kenyan embassy to record our names for the evacuation.”
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma who received them at the airport defended the government, saying “we were hoping the situation would calm down since Kenya was engaging President Kiir and Vice President Machar.”
She said “all those evacuated were safe apart from one who sustained a gunshot wound.”