Kenya denies UN claim of fueling war in South Sudan

Foreign Affairs CS Dr Monicah Juma []

The Kenyan government has denied claims by the United Nations that it is complicit of fueling war in South Sudan by allowing free flow of arms to Juba.

Foreign Affairs CS Monicah Juma yesterday responded to the claims leveled on Kenya by UN Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng who indicted Kenya and Uganda as two East African nations fueling war in South Sudan by allowing transportation of arms through their territories.

“It is true that large quantities of weapons and ammunition are flowing into South Sudan through Kenya and Uganda,” the Senagelese Lawyer told Voice of America last month.

However, in a fiery response, Juma stated as quoted by Daily Nation: “The allegations by the senior UN official insinuating Kenya’s complicity in trafficking large quantities of weapons and ammunition into South Sudan, are not only unfortunate, but also lack facts.”

In a twist, she accused Dieng hampering efforts by regional countries to broker peace between warring parties.

Juma noted that Kenya remains impartial to the ongoings in S.Sudan and hopes to bring disputing parties on the table for peace talks.

“Kenya remains impartial with regards to the South Sudanese parties, including the political parties as well as the various armed and non-armed opposition groups, as it rallies the regional governments and the international community to sustain pressure on the parties to recommit to the peace process.

“Kenya remains committed to peaceful resolution of the conflict and will continue to play its mediation role,” she added.

Juba on the hand remains put insisting it has a right to purchase arms.

South Sudan ambassador to Kenya Chol Ajongo defended his country’s move to purchase arms saying any sovereign nation has a right to do so.

“We do not get any illegal weapons from any neighbouring country. But, we are a sovereign nation and any sovereign nation has a right to defend itself.

“I cannot tell you where the rebels are getting their weapons because only they can say, but I have never seen an independent military unable to defend itself,” averred Ajongo.

The new claims come slightly a year after UN fired a Kenyan general, former force commander Lt-Gen Kimani Ondieki in South Sudan for “negligence”.

Kenyan troops were in S. Sudan for peacekeeping mission. Kenya protested the move by temporarily withdrawing its forces from the country.

The US has already imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan in a move geared towards ending violence in the country between forces allied to former Vice President Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir’s army.