27 April 2014

Kenya: IGAD Plans Summit On S.sudan to End the War

Nairobi — The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is planning for another summit to seek a solution to the spiralling violence in South Sudan and the worsening humanitarian situation. Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed said there was urgent need to see how to stop the killings of innocent civilians even as other peace talks continue.

"IGAD is going to hold a summit soon but we have not agreed on the dates yet. I don't think we are ready to sit and watch this any longer," Mohamed noted. She said it was time for the international community to cooperate and ensure that a solution is found as soon as possible to restore peace in South Sudan.

"It's so ironic that just a few days we were all in Kigali Rwanda commemorating the 1994 genocide then we come and watch these killings in South Sudan happening right in front of our eyes, in front of our living rooms every day," she lamented.

Mohamed however downplayed criticism that Kenya was reluctant on the matter adding that she and the rest of East African Community states were in the front line to see peace restored in the war-torn country.

"Not a day passes without a discussion on South Sudan taking place somewhere in government; either is State House itself, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning in terms of assistance going to South Sudan. So I don't know why one would say we are reluctant," Mohamed defended.

The CS was speaking on Sunday during the opening of the Kenya-Rwanda 8th Joint Commission for Co-operation (JCC) in Nairobi.

Touching on the South Sudan issue, Rwandan Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said there was need to take a different approach by looking at how to reconcile fighting ethnic communities.

"I speak this out of experience. There is no better help than self help," Mushikiwabo challenged the South Sudanese leaders. "Let's stop this idea that people have to die when we want power. Let's distance citizens from power differences."

During the two day session in Nairobi, Kenya and Rwanda will be discussing achievements made following the mid-term review of the JCC in 2011. Key areas of focus will be security, immigration, infrastructure and trade.

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