Oil Executives Join African Energy Chamber in visit to the Famous Slave Hub of Goree Island, Senegal
July 15, 2019 | 0 Comments
Goree Island was a huge slave holding facility and at the centre of the European slave trade from the sixteenth century until 1848
DAKAR, Senegal, July 15, 2019/ — Led by the African Energy Chamber (EnergyChamber.org) and its Executive Chairman Nj Ayuk, several oil executives went on a symbolic visit to Senegal’s Goree Island today, southeast of the capital Dakar.
Goree Island was a huge slave holding facility and at the centre of the European slave trade from the sixteenth century until 1848, when France abolished slavery. Countless African slaves passed through the island for centuries on their way to US, Haiti and Cuba. The oldest building on the island, the House of Slaves, is a reminder of the inhuman conditions in which African slaves were treated for over three centuries. The whole island was inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage list in 1978.
“Slavery was a sin and a crime against humanity. The Chamber is looking forward to working with various African civil society groups to fight issues of modern-day slavery. It starts with us creating an environment where all is treated with fairness, love and equity,” said NJ Ayuk CEO of Centurion Law Group and Executive Chair of the African Energy Chamber during the visit.
Oil executives were told how slaves were chained at the neck and arms with a heavy iron ball attached. Many of the slaves were released just once a day from their cells which measured just 2.6m by 2.6m, each containing between 15 to 20 men. The ill and the dead were thrown into the sea for the sharks to feed on.
Families were split up with women and children each being kept in a separate part of the slave house. For young women, there was one means of escape. Any that became pregnant by the slave masters were released either on the island or in the town of Saint Louis.
“Visiting Goree Island should remind us that slavery continues when we shrink civic freedoms, encourage legislation that stifle dissent, stand idle by on rising populism that has stirred xenophobia, limit opportunities for Africans and women in oil and gas and put a blind eye on African families that continue to earn unworthy wages,” added Ayuk.
Zimbabwe Invests in Young People through UNFPA..
July 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Harare-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to support the International Conference on Population and Development goals through the support of UNFPA to young people in the country. He said initiatives that improve life like what UNFPA does can -not be ignored or looked down upon.
On Thursday 11 July on World Population Day, the President officially opened a clinic in Harare South at a severely poverty stricken community called Hopley , 10 kilometres outside the city centre of Harare .
‘’My Government renews its commitments to the International Conference on Population and Development Agenda. We support initiatives that improve the quality of life of our young people.
‘’The quality of life of any individual is undoubtedly important. There-fore the work of the UNFPA is important as we address concerns of young people World-Wide today.
‘’At ICPD in Cairo , 179 countries adopted a forward looking 20 year programme of action that continues to serve as a comprehensive guide to people centred development program .
The Clinic comes to official launch together with the youth centre in the community. The area has a total of 200,000 people of which 65,000 of them are young people. The clinic and youth centre was built by the City of Harare with much support from UNFPA. A local company Lafarge provided cement at the site.
The centre provides Industry skills to young people. Among them at most is cobble stone technology, brick laying, electrical work and plumbing. Out of the total number of those empowered 56% of them are young women. Young women train on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.
‘’We have like always given full financial support. The core main reason is that we are into these issues. We need to see to it and get assured that young people explore for better opportunities especially young girls in terms of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. They later in life explore better Health Life-Lines for better communities.’’
‘’Youth Friendly Health Services will serve many young people in the area in line with Health issues related to HIV and AIDS , STIs and elimination of Reproductive Tract Infections like those related to cervical cancers . It meant a lot about eliminating HIV and AIDS.’’ says Esther Muia , UNFPA Zimbabwe Country Representative .
Sweden is a strong advocate to the above mentioned issues. Martin Johnrud Charge d Affairs at Swedish Embassy in Harare said services at the centre will reduce unwanted pregnancies , sexual transmitted diseases , HIV and some communicable illnesses .
‘’This clinic goes a long way in achieving development goals of the United Nations. It is interesting that we address thorny Health problems at a time we move to eliminate HIV and AIDS,.
‘’I am impressed as this comes at a time the World is looking at Sustainable Development Goals. Today as we also commemorate World Population Day, the message is sent everywhere’’, he said
South Sudan President Kiir pardons 15 prisoners without Biar & Kerbino
July 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has pardoned and ordered the release of 15 prisoners on the occasion of the 8th independence anniversary of the restive country in the Horn of Africa.
President Kiir announced the release of the detainees during his address to the nation at the Presidential Palace J1 on Tuesday.
The inmates to be released were detained in Juba, Wau, and Yambio among other towns.
“Because of this occasion of celebrating 8th independence anniversary, I have pardoned and released 15 inmates and their name will be read out by comrade Makuei,” said President Kiir.
But an entrepreneur Kerubino Wol Agok and a political activist, London based economist Peter Biar Ajak are not part of those pardoned by the president.
However, the country’s Information Minister Michael Makuei, who is also the government spokesperson, read out the names of those pardoned by the president, saying the prisoners would be released from various prisons in the country.
“In Juba central prison, you have Delta Justine Kenyi, Jackson Anip David, John Bosco Losimi, and Silah James Kumunan,” said the minister of information.
“In Wau Central Prison, you have Santino Chol Yai, Ayian Deng Athem, Marko Dut David, Yel Yel Mawein, Daniel Yol and David Dut Pualino.”
In Yambio Central Prison, there is only one person and that is James Anyiri John. In Twic State, you have Ayian Abiel, Ring Magok, Ayian Agok Magieth Deng and Ring Mabior Yom,” said Makuei.
Minister Makuei further asked the prison authorities to act on the presidential order.
“We say congratulation to them. Prison authorities should take necessary action for the release of these people,” said Makuei.
Perhaps, president Kiir’s moved was welcomed by South Sudanese, civil society organizations, observers and analysts, including the defense lawyers of Dr. Biar and Wol, but they are calling on president Kiir to extends further.
Philip Anyang Ngong, Defense lawyer for Dr. Peter Biar, said he welcomed the president Kiir’s decision to freed 15 prisoners across the country as a purely within his discretion but that should not be limited to only 15 prisoners.
“I want to appeal to the president to also activate his powers and release Peter Biar Ajak as a South Sudanese and an instrument of free press,” Anyang told Pan African Visions.
Month ago, the Juba high court finally sentenced to jail political activist Dr. Biar and entrepreneur Kerbino Wol to 2 and 15 years in prison respectively, following accusation that they threatened the security of the country.
The London based economist Dr. Biar was detained in July 2018, while businessman Kerbino was detained in April the same year. The Juba high court “did not charge Biar and Wol for the reasons they were first arrested but over an incident at the national security prison” last year when detainees allegedly took weapons and demobilized prison guards.
The Juba high court earlier dropped the treason, terrorism, undermining the government activities charges first against Biar and Wol, but convicted Dr. Biar for “breach of the peace” and of campaigning for the exit of president Kiir on foreign media over the peace agreement, whereas Mr. Wol convicted of masterminding subversive activities against president Kiir.
Last month, the defense lawyers of businessman, Kerbino Wol and political activist Peter Biar have made an appealed against the decision of the high court that sentenced their clients to prison.
Namibia: Andjamba is the new minister education minister
July 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Windhoek – Namibia President Hage Geingob has on Wednesday appointed Martin Andjamba, the minister of presidential affairs as an acting minister in the portfolio of education, arts and culture.
Andjamba was appointed to the Cabinet portfolio after follow the resignation of the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa on Tuesday, after she was convicted of corruption this week.
Andjamba’s appointment is in terms of section 4 of the Assignment of Powers Act, 1990, says Presidential press secretary Dr Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari.
“With seven months left before the end of the term of the current Government, coupled with the rights of Hon. Hanse-Himarwa under Article 47(2)(a) of the Namibian Constitution, President Geingob has decided not to appoint a new Minister in the education, arts and culture portfolio,” said Hengari.
Hengari emphasized that Andjaba will assume all statutory functions of the minister of education, arts and culture in terms of Article 37 of the Namibian Constitution and will be deputized by Anna Nghipondoka.
The former Namibian Ambassador to the United States was served as presidential affairs since April 2018.
Namibia: President Geingob concludes successful visits to Rwanda and Niger
July 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – The Namibian President Hage Geingob has successfully concluded a working visit to Rwanda and Niger, where he attended the 12thExtraordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly in Niamey. The session coincided with the inaugural Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) held from 7-8 July 2019 in Niger’s capital.
President Geingob delivered a statement at the meeting in his capacity as Chairperson of SADC. In his address, the Namibian leader highlighted the achievements made by member states towards regional integration, which include the establishment in 2008 of the SADC Free-Trade Area (FTA), increasing trade in the region from 16% to 22%.
He informed the gathering that SADC had made significant strides in the development of roads and ports that further facilitates trade and promotes economic growth in the region. Applauding the inaugural meeting.
“This AU-REC coordination meeting, therefore, allows us to take a critical look at the progress made in implementing and meeting the objectives of our integration agenda, and provides us with a unique opportunity to take stock of our synergies with the AU Agenda and programmes. I am confident that we will learn from each other, and be able to chart our way forward in positioning ourselves to meet the Continental Agenda,” said the Namibian leader.
The 12th Extraordinary Session served as the formal launch of the entry into force of the African Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 30 May 2019.
So far, 27 countries have ratified the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA, and 54 have signed the agreement.
Trading between African countries under the AfCFTA will commence on 1 July 2020, while Phase Two of the AfCFTA Negotiations on Investment Policy, Competition Policy, and Intellectual Property Rights are set to be concluded in December 2020.
Namibia ratified the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA in February 2019, which paved the way for the Namibian private sector and SMEs to fully participate in intra-Africa trade by taking advantage of the AfCFTA.
The First Mid-Year Coordination meeting discussed the the status of integration in Africa and started preliminary discussions on the division of labour between the AU and RECs with a view to avoiding duplication and overlapping mandates.
Before travelling to Niger Geingob participated at the invitation of President Paul Kagame in the Celebrations of Liberation Day of Rwanda on 4 July. During the visit, the two leaders held several discussions, focusing on bilateral ties, regional integration and international affairs.
In a solemn ceremony on 5 July, President Geingob laid a wreath at the Kigali Memorial Centre.
He stressed unity as a precondition for socio-economic progress in Africa cautioned strongly against tribalism and racism as ills that had no place in society.
“Tribalism and racism are the same things because both involve hatred towards other people”, President Geingob warned, while commendingRwanda for the remarkable progress the country had made since the Genocide 25 years ago.
Namibia:Africa can benefit from its diamonds if exploited responsibly – Minister Alweendo
July 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – The fact that Africa dominate diamond production is an indication that the continent has the potential to capitalise on these natural resources, says Namibian mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo on Tuesday.
Information by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme indicates that African countries such as Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Sierra Leone is in the top ten of diamond producing countries in volume and value globally.
In addition, the most expensive diamonds are produced by Cameroon, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Lesotho, with a value ranging from US$300 to more than US$500 per carat, in comparison to the global average value of US$315 per carat.
This Minister Alweendo said it “indicates that Africa has the opportunity and potential to capitalise on its diamond resources if exploited in a responsible and sustainable manner.
That way, we will ensure that diamond generated income is channelled towards the building of educational and health institutions, improving road and network infrastructure and meeting other pressing social-economic needs”.
Alweendo was speaking during the 6th Ordinary Meeting of the African Diamond-Producing Countries Association Council of Ministers in Windhoek. The annual session started on Monday with the meeting of senior officials for countries.
The two-day meeting hosted by the Namibian mines and energy ministry deliberated and formulated policies for the functioning of the African Diamond-Producing Countries Association (ADPA), approve its organic structures and internal regulations as well as approve and direct the work of the executive secretariat.
Namibia also took over the rotational chair of the association from Guinea. ADPA comprised of 18 members countries of which 12 are the effective members, while six are observers. The effective members are the diamond producing nations, while the observer countries are those that have the geological potential of diamonds
The Association of the Diamond Producing Countries was then established in accordance with the Luanda Declaration of 2006 and the ADPA Statute
Since its establishment, Angola, South Africa, and Guinea have chaired the ADPA’s Council of Ministers meeting, with Namibia taking over the Chairmanship for the year 2019.
“ADPA has played a significant role particularly in consolidating views of African producing countries. For example, ADPA has been instrumental in the restoration of the Republic of Zimbabwe back into the Kimberly Process after economic sanctions were imposed against their exportation of rough diamonds. The same support has been extended to the Central African Republic and is ongoing,” Minister Alweendo said.
In June 2018, ADPA concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Antwerp World Diamond Center, which Alweendo said will benefit ADPA member states throughout the entire diamond value chain, by the provision of necessary support towards ADPA’s implementation of its strategies and work plan just to mention a few.
This MoU is due for adoption and implementation.
He said ADPA has also formulated the concept document on the ‘Establishment of the Diamond Bourse’ to serve as a centre of rough diamond trading and to assist Alluvial Artisanal and Small-Scale miners in getting fair value for their produce, which is currently undervalued.
The Namibian stressed that most of the minerals in Africa is exported in raw form as concentrated ore without significant value-addition.
“It is therefore important for ADPA member states to explore ways to add value to minerals that are economically viable including diamonds, in order to industrialise their economies,” he said.
The minister also commended the African Union for formulating the Africa Mining Vision, a policy framework calling for the promotion of downstream value addition, with a view to establishing beneficiation industries that could provide stock for local manufacturing and industrialisation.
“This is to promote more fiscal space and responsive taxation to allow countries to better capture revenue gains and encourage the use of revenues for value addition and linkages,” he said.
Therefore, he challenged ADPA to drive the beneficiation “agenda by developing the diamond downstream industry through the exchange of relevant information and expertise in the area of beneficiation and mainstreaming of alluvial artisanal and small-scale miners into the formal economies to mention a few”.
Niger: African Development Bank President attends historic African Union summit, decries child marriage
July 9, 2019 | 0 Comments
Whilst in Niamey, Adesina also participated in a high-level panel on combatting child marriage, organized on the sidelines of the summit
NIAMEY, Niger, July 8, 2019/ — The president of the African Development Bank (https://www.AfDB.org), Akinwumi Adesina joined continental leaders in Niger for an African Union summit which saw the official launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement – the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
The agreement, ratified in April, will cover a market of 1.2 billion people and an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion, across all 55 member States of the African Union.
The Bank has been central in shaping the AfCFTA agreement, setting its strategy and format and approving a $4.8 million grant to the AU for the establishing of the Secretariat and to accelerate its roll out. Nigeria made history at the summit by becoming the 54th African country to sign up.
Commending all the parties involved for bringing this historic agreement to fruition, President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou said: “The time has come to translate words into actions. The continent has waited for far too long, and we are glad this historic moment for the people of Africa is being witnessed in Niger.”
His comments were echoed by AU President, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and AU Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat who both stressed the need to celebrate the strides the continent has made.
“An old dream has come true. The founding fathers must be proud,” said Faki.
Child marriage a scourge, women’s inclusion must be prioritized – Adesina
Whilst in Niamey, Adesina also participated in a high-level panel on combatting child marriage, organized on the sidelines of the summit by the First Ladies of West African Economic Community states and Niger’s first lady Dr. Lala Malika Mahamadou Issoufou.
The panel, themed: Combatting child marriage and promoting girls’ education and retention in schools, heard testimonies from young girls as well as from Niger’s traditional chiefs, who committed to support the recommendations of the meeting.
“It is totally unacceptable that in Africa some people would block the future of girls. Fundamentally, we have to protect girls, help them achieve and perform.” Adesina said.
President Issoufou also reaffirmed his government’s commitment to supporting the First ladies.
“Keeping girls in school is one of the best ways to end child marriage. Like men, an educated girl will contribute to her community’s transformation,” the President said.
Rounding off the conversation Niger’s First Lady described the issue as a “critical priority.”
“It is not just a West Africa issue, but an issue for the entire region. So all of us must come together – public, non-governmental institutions, religions leaders, communities, families, and schools – for a sustained multi-stakeholder approach to combat early marriage and promote girls’ education,” Malika Mahamadou Issoufou concluded.
Sierra Leone: Gov’t pays End of service benefit of Le 33.4 Billion to former officials of the APC administration
July 8, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
The government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Finance has in a press statement said they have disbursed the sum of Le 33, 415,057,270 (33.4 Billion Leones) for the payment of severance benefits, gratuities and arrears of pension to former officials of the last administration which includes the former president , vice president, Ministers and Deputy Ministers and other political appointee.
According to the release, the amount disbursed represents 50% of the total amount due as payment of severance benefits and gratuities while arrears due of the monthly pensions have been paid up to 31st May ,2019 stating that going forward , their monthly pensions from June 2019 will be paid by NASSIT.
‘’The public would recall that in 2017, the IMF suspended its engagement with the then administration due to low domestic revenue collection and slippages in the management of the finances of the state. Upon assumption of the leadership of the state, the new administration prioritized and negotiated a new credible economic programme with the IMF and other development partners which was approved in November 2018. The first review of the good economic track record and performance of Government was successfully completed on June 28th, 2019, resulting to immediate disbursement of about US$ 21.62 million. This immediate disbursement includes direct budget support of US$ 13.9 million,’’ the release stated.
The release added that it is worthy for the general public to know that at the time the previous Administration prepared the 2018 budget , they did not make provisions for the payment of end of service benefits to ex-president, vice president , Ministers and deputies , diplomats and other political appointment.
‘’Therefore, these payments which are part of the 2019 budget of the new administration have been made possible as a result of the disbursement of the disbursement of the US13.9 million by IMF reflecting the good economic performance of the Sierra Leone government .The balance 50% of the amount due will be paid in due course’’
It could be recalled that the issue of the payment of the end of service benefits to former officials in the last administration was brought to attention of the government by one of the country’s leading human rights organisation called Legal Link which on 1st May wrote a letter to President Julius Maada Bio appealing to him to speedily settle the end of service benefits of all affected workers in the country during the commemoration of the International Labour Day.
‘’After two months of appeal to the President of the republic of Sierra Leone over the payment of the end of service benefits to former employees and civil servants, our appeal has finally yielded result. 50% of the end of service benefits have been agreed to be paid by the Ministry of Finance and the remaining 50% will be paid at a letter date. Glory to God. Bravo to Legal Link,’’ Lawyer Rashid Dumbuya is a statement on social media.
US report highlights Mozambique’s ‘heavy-handed’ response in Cabo Delgado
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
A US government report into religious freedom in Mozambique has highlighted media and NGO claims of the Mozambique government’s heavy-handed response to the Cabo Delgado insurgency, which has contributed to a ꞌꞌgrowing cycle of grievance and revengeꞌꞌ between militant Islamists and security forces.
Violent attacks by Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaah continued throughout the year in
northern Cabo Delgado Province. The group, which claimed ties to the al-Shabaab
terrorist group and was characterized by the government and the media as jihadist,
was composed primarily of Muslims who followed what observers said was a strict
version of Islam. The attacks, which began in October 2017, included killings of
security force members and beheading of civilians.
In response to the attacks, government officials stated they arrested more than 280
attackers, whom they termed suspected jihadists, and at year’s end were
prosecuting 189 of those individuals, including 152 Mozambicans, 26 Tanzanians,
and three Somali nationals.
The US International Religious Freedom Report – Mozambique 2018 says the government is reported to have ꞌꞌarbitrarily detained men, women, and children based on appearing to be Muslimꞌꞌ charging them with crimes including first degree murder, use of banned weapons, membership in a criminal association, and instigating collective disobedience against public order.
The government, the report adds, continued to state publicly that ꞌꞌsecurity forces had the situation under controlꞌꞌ, despite the persistence of the attacks and killings.
In light of the violence, the US Ambassador has engaged Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and the minister of justice on the continued importance of religious tolerance to promote peace and security, the report said.
Others informations point that Mozambique has authorised US intelligence services to spy on Maputo’s mosques, in search of intel on how the northern insurgency is being financed, according to Carta de Moçambique — who say that the quid pro quo is that the US has agreed not to contest Manuel Chang’s extradition to Mozambique, citing an anonymous US intelligence source.
AU Summit: President Adesina to lead African Development Bank’s delegation, Continental Free Trade Area talks to top summit agenda
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee|
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, July 5, 2019/ — African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina will next week lead a delegation of top Bank officials to the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Niger’s capital, Niamey.
High on the agenda of the July 7-8 summit are discussions on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). President Adesina will meet African leaders to review the continent’s development issues, and hold talks on the effective implementation of the AfCFTA.
As a member of the continental Task Force, the Bank will participate in several executive discussions, including the deliberations of the 8th meeting of African Trade Ministers, as well as a meeting of the 37th Steering Committee of Heads of Commerce.
The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee, as well as in the 1st mid-year coordination meeting of the AU and Regional Economic Communities.
President Adesina will share the Bank’s vision on empowering African women, and on the AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) initiative.
On the sidelines, there will be discussions between the Bank and major African private sector representatives on the AU’s 2063 vision of an integrated, inclusive and prosperous continent.
African Development Bank to establish Central African headquarters in Cameroon
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
The African Development Bank, AfDB will in the days ahead establish its central headquarters in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.
This is the substance of an agreement signed this morning at the Ministry of external relations between the government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank.
Signing in for Cameroon was the Minister of external relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella and the Vice President of the African Development Bank, Khaled Sherif signed on behalf of the banking institution.
According to Khaled Sherif, Cameroon was chosen in the central African Sub region as site for the implantation of the ADB regional headquarters because it suits the established criteria, one of which include hospitality.
“The government of Cameroon freely gave us a piece of land and we intend to work here over the long run” Khaled said at the end of the signing ceremony.
“The new regional office for development, integration and service delivery in Central Africa, like those established in Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Africa, aims to bring the Bank closer to its Member States,” a release from the AfDB reads.
The signature of this headquarters agreement, which comes almost two months after the approval by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, of the Regional Integration Strategy Document for Central Africa (DSIR), approving the Bank’s operations in this region over the 2019-2025 period, will strengthen the institution’s dialogue and support for the process of economic integration in Central Africa.
With some 44 active regional projects in the continent, amounting to nearly 632 billion CFA francs, or 1.1 billion US dollars, the AfDB seeks to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries thus contributing to poverty reduction.
This new regional office will help improve the efficiency of the Bank’s operations and deepen the dialogue between the Bank and all Central African countries.
Kenyan President urges South Sudan leaders to coalesce peace dividends
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged South Sudanese leaders to coalesce the peace dividends to accelerate the country’s devastated social and economic growth.
South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011 after decades of scorched-earth conflict, but East Africa’s youngest country returned into another civil war in late 2013 followed a political disagreement between president Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. The five-year conflict has so far killed 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes, and further devastated the country’s economy.
South Sudan president Salva Kiir travelled to Nairobi on Monday for two – days State visit, lobby for peace implementation’s financial support and political cooperation.
South Sudan just days away to celebrate its 8th Anniversary of the independence, president Kenyatta said that the moment had come for the patriotic men and women of Africa’s youngest nation to secure their place in national, regional, continental and global arena.
“The leadership of South Sudan, across the entire spectrum, have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to forge for lasting peace that provides the internal stability and enabling environment for your country’s take-off, both economically and socially,” President Kenyatta told visiting President Kiir, on Monday evening when he and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted President Kiir and his delegation to a state banquet that was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at State House, Nairobi.
On his part, President Kiir thanked President Kenyatta for inviting him for the State Visit, saying it has strengthened the bond of friendship between the two sisterly countries.
“I want to assure that South Sudanese and the great people of Kenya are one people. We share common borders and we are good neighbours,” said President Kiir. Further assured that South Sudan will never abandon its brothers and sisters in Kenya and underscored the key role that Kenya played in South Sudan’s journey to independence.
However, Kenyan president urged the leadership of South Sudan to flout the pessimists by abandoned their tribal discrepancies and delivering unity, humility, tranquility, peace and security to their country.
“South Sudan, in this moment, can crystallize the optimism and hope that all nations of the world had for it when your nation gained independence on 9th July 2011,” said Kenyatta.
South Sudan has now prioritized the search for a sustainable political solution to the five – year conflict that have beset a country’s progress.
Months ago, President Kiir, designated vice president Machar, including Taban Deng and Ms. Rebecca Garang traveled to Vatican for the ‘spirit retreat,’ aimed to anointed them and forge the heart for forgiveness and reconciliation to implement peace deal. But things fall apart despite the Holiness Pope Francis knelt down and kissed their feet.
“Eminent African and global leaders have pledged their support for South Sudan’s quest for sustained peace, including His Holiness Pope Francis; an indicator of the deep continental and global desire to see a united, peaceful and prosperous South Sudan,” he said. “We are fortunate that the South Sudan of today has bold and dynamic sons and daughters, such as Your Excellency, who have requisite vision and stature that allows them to bring together all sections of South Sudanese society into the common fold,” Kenyatta told Kiir.
Kenya president, however says his government is ever ready and always at hand to play whatever fundamental role to create an all-inclusive transitional mechanisms and institutions that will return South Sudanese people together and provide for the full realization of that nation’s democracy.
Also, Kenyatta says Kenya will continue to provide technical and diplomatic support to facilitate the implementation of the peace process including deployment of military ceasefire monitors as well as technical advisors to various transitional and implementation mechanisms.
“Kenya is cognizant of the fact that the political, security, economic and humanitarian situation in South Sudan will largely be determined by the success in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS); which was signed by the Parties on 12th September 2018,” President Kenyatta said.
The commitment to the peace deal will allow South Sudan to put aside the yoke of inessential conflict and internal disunity that has limited the East Africa community’s country’s achievement of its full potential, Kenyatta said. “I, therefore, urge all parties to the process to exercise tolerance and political goodwill, so as to move the country forward.”
With permanent peace, cohesion and security in place in the Horn of Africa’s country, its will be able to take advantage of the immense opportunities available on the African continent, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) which has opened enormous trade and investment opportunities among African countries and as well as the East African Community, which South Sudan is the youngest member.
President Kiir and key opposition groups, including main opposition leader, ex-rebel Machar signed a fragile ceasefire and revitalized peace deal in September, 2018, auspicious to end the political violence, but plans to form a power-sharing in May, this year were delayed after there was no funding to disarm, establish cantonments, rehabilitate and integrate militias and rebels across the country.