Kiir extends ‘message’ to Ruto on Nadapal border row

By William Madouk

A delegation led by Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial on Sunday met with Kenyan President, William Ruto and handed him a goodwill message from his counterpart, President Salva Kiir.

This comes after clashes between neighbouring communities from South Sudan and Kenya over the border, but Kiir’s administration said the dispute will be resolved diplomatically assuring that his country will not slide back to war.

In a post on his Facebook page, Ruto said he received a goodwill message from his counterpart, President Kiir, adding that the stability of South Sudan is essential to the economy in the East Africa region.

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

“At State House, Nakuru, 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” he added.

Other officials present were the Director General of the Internal Security Bureau Akol Koor Kuc, the Governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Louis Lobong Lojore, and the Special Presidential Envoy on Special Programs Dr. Benjamin Bol Mel among others.

Kiir dispatched a high level delegation to Nairobi as a move to ease the tension between the two countries. The mission came days after Kenya sent Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria to Juba to deliver a message from President William Ruto.

The clashes erupted last week after Kenyan security forces reportedly moved to the border point which resulted in the killing of at least eight people.

South Sudan reportedly accuses Kenya of illegally taking 42 points of its borderline at the Nadapal area of Kapoeta East.

However, Nairobi denied the claims that it has encroached on South Sudan’s territory arguing that it respects the boundaries of its neighbours.

On Thursday, Kiir directed the Governor of Eastern Equatoria, Louis Lobong and special advisor for special Program, Benjamin Bol Mel to quell the border tiff using diplomatic means to diffuse the rumbling tension.

Documents seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, revealed that Kenya and SPLM – in the then Southern Sudan inked an agreement to establish a temporary border control post at Nadapal in 2009.

The deal was meant to facilitate the cross-border movement of people, goods and services – and was signed by representatives from both sides in Nairobi, Kenya. 

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