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Prioritise peace, Kenyan president tells S. Sudan leaders

May 5, 2018 (NAIROBI) – Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged South Sudanese leaders to prioritise the interests of their own citizens.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (L) and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta (Photo: AP/Ali Ngethi)

Kenyatta, while addressing Kenyan lawmakers last week, said the leaders and the region must admit that the young nation is in a crisis.

“We continue to urge the leaders of South Sudan to put the interests of their people and motherland above their own,” he remarked.

The conflict in South Sudan, now in its fifth year, has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million people.

Kenyatta, one of the leaders involved in South Sudan peace process, said his country would continue engaging South Sudanese leader to work towards achieving everlasting peace and stability.

“As we have in the past year, Kenya stands with the people of South Sudan in their search for lasting peace,” he stressed.

South Sudan is a strategic partner of Kenya in many areas. Both countries have cultural similarities as many people from South Sudan lived in Kenya before independence.

Kenya also played a leading role in South Sudan’s independence. The Machakos Protocol signed in Kenya in 2002 saw a ceasefire signed between Sudan and the Southern Sudanese. It was the first of many agreements that led to the creation of Southern Sudan autonomous region, leading to the independence of South Sudan in 2011.