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Kenya to release arrested South Sudanese after issuance of ID cards

Undocumented South Sudanese released in Nyeri town Kenya after the intervention of the embassy in Nairobi on 30 August 2018 (ST photo)

September 1, 2018 (JUBA) - Kenya Saturday said ready to release hundreds of undocumented South Sudanese detained in the east African Nation but asked Juba to provide them with Identity cards.

This measure was decided by the Kenyan government after a meeting on Thursday between the South Sudanese Ambassador in Nairobi Chol Ajongo and officials at the Kenyan foreign ministry.

Recently Kenyan police arrested hundreds of South Sudanese within the framework of a campaign on illegal migrants. The matter triggered a wave of reactions among the South Sudanese community members and forced the South Sudanese authorities to seek their release through its embassy in Nairobi.

The anti-illegal migrant crackdown touched South Sudanese residing in Karatina, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyeri and Bonguma.

In a statement released on 29 August, the South Sudanese foreign ministry said minors, expecting mothers and people with severe medical conditions were among the detainees and underscored that the South Sudanese are citizens of the East African Community who have no entry visa.

In a letter to the South Sudanese Embassy in Nairobi dated on 31 August seen by Sudan Tribune, the Kenyan foreign ministry requested the diplomatic mission to issues identification documents for the arrested South Sudanese and to deliver copies of the ID cards to the police stations where they are under arrest, the foreign ministry and the State Department of Interior

"This approach will not only facilitate the expeditious release of the affected South Sudanese but also ensure that they are not rearrested once they are released to the custody of the Embassy," reads the letter.

Earlier this week, the South Sudanese embassy managed to release 38 out of 41 nationals at Nyeri house of arrest, the 3 other were holders of UN refugees cards. However, the Kenyan authorities requested emergency travelling document to secure their release.