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South Sudan criticizes Kenya for providing freedom to Machar

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July 20, 2015 (NAIROBI) – South Sudan has criticized the neighboring Kenya for allegedly allowing former vice president and current armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, to carry out activities against president Salva Kiir’s government on its soil, but Kenya reacted by dismissing the complaint saying Nairobi was exercising policy of impartiality.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta (L), taking walk with the South Sudanese opposition leader, Riek Machar, after a lengthy meeting at the State House, Nairobi, 7 July 2015 (ST photo)

South Sudan embassy in Nairobi went public on Sunday, criticizing the Kenyan government in the media, saying the East African nation seemed to have sided with the rebel leader, Machar, in the internal conflict.

The South Sudanese foreign affairs ministry was overreacting to the widely covered press conference which Machar held two week ago on 8 July in Nairobi in which he called on president Kiir to step down as his constitutional term of office was coming to an end by mid-night of that day.

But senior officials of the South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry in Nairobi said this could be seen as Kenya taking Machar’s side by allowing him to launch the call on president Kiir to step aside.

“South Sudan authorities are wondering why Dr. Machar was allowed to criticize a sitting president in Kenya. This could be misconstrued to mean that Kenya was taking sides,” James P. Morgan, deputy ambassador to Kenya told the Kenyan Daily Nation on Sunday.

“The people on the ground are confused with Dr. Machar’s comments, especially considering that they were made in a foreign country,” he added.

However, Kenyan foreign affairs’ principal secretary, Karanja Kibicho, dismissed the complaint from the South Sudanese counterpart, saying his country was neutral and should engage with both factions in the conflict.

“Kenya is a neutral party and is keen to help end the conflict,” he told the Daily Nation.

In the first week of July, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta held separate and joint talks with president Kiir and opposition leader, Machar, urging them to compromise and sign a peace agreement to end the war in the young country.

The two leaders while in Nairobi also submitted their position papers to the Kenyan president who serves as rapporteur in the IGAD-led peace process on the war-ravaged South Sudan.

(ST)

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  • 21 July 2015 10:59, by jubaone

    The Kenyan Govt. should stall diplomatic relations with the Kiir Govt. for putting up such stupid allegations. Kenya is trying to resolve the issue and Kenyatta in his capacity as AU Rapportuer has the mandate to meet Machar. What does then Kiir govt. want? Afterall, it is now politically illegitimate.

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    • 21 July 2015 12:22, by thomas

      I completely agree. One get’s worried when you see diplomats being so ameteurish. Speaking of which, we haven’t heard of Michael Makuei in a while. Hope all is well. He really should watch his temper, it’s not good for his health.

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      • 21 July 2015 15:12, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

        Uhuru Kenyatta is already hmself a war criminal & tribalist in Kenya who rigged case evidence for ICC Indictment in Hague. Like 1991 & 2013 of Riak Machar like 2007/08 of Uhuru Kenyatta

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  • 21 July 2015 14:55, by lino

    What are you expecting from a mediator Ya DinkaToria Regime?
    The same song Bashire was singing before CPA but it accomplished Peace by the end of the day!!!

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    • 21 July 2015 20:29, by Pure Nationalist

      Kenya has already entered into democracy unlike Uganda that has introduced dictatorship to South Sudan that made Kiir plunge the country into this crisis. Leave Kenyatta alone while dealing with world democratically unlike you gangs who put corruption, tribalism, theft and looting above your country. You believe in bribery but Kenyatta family is well off unlike Museveni

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  • 22 July 2015 21:11, by Whortti Bor Manza

    Oh my dear brothers the jiengs (Dinkas),
    Be careful not to offend the Kenyans by insulting their elected president. The exit for your stolen petro dollars would be blocked. Where will your emaciated and thin legged women feed? After all South Sudan is a land locked country. See the number of daily flights to Nairobi.

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