9th June 2023
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South Sudan writes to AU over border dispute with Kenya, Uganda

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Wednesday, April 5, 2023

FILE PHOTO: Kenyan security personnel on patrol at Kenya-South Sudan border - Courtesy

The government of South Sudan has written to the African Union to support bilateral talks with neighboring Uganda and Kenya over the encroachment into the country’s territories.

This is according to the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deng Dau Malek.

This comes after lawmakers representing Eastern Equatoria state at the national parliament said Kenya and Uganda have trespassed areas within South Sudan.

The legislators said the plan to annex part of South Sudan to Kenya started on January 27, 2023, following a meeting between Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary, and the governor of Turkana County.

The lawmakers said the claim of ownership of Nakodok by the Kenyan government is depriving Kapoeta East County residents of access to their traditional water points and grazing land.

They also say there are ongoing military activities by the Uganda People’s Defense Force in mining and sugar cane activities in Magwi County in South Sudan.

Responding to the MPs’ complaints, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs says the government has engaged bilaterally with the neighboring countries.

Deng Dau says Juba has also requested the African Union to support the bilateral discussions on the boundaries issue between the three nations.

“We have engaged the government of Kenya in the issue of Nadapal and our President sent a delegation that was led by the Minister of Presidential Affairs. Not only that we have a committee made up of 18 people, but they have also been meeting,” said Deng Dau.

“During the African Union delegation led by the His Excellency Hussein Abdel-Bagi we met the chair of the African Union Musa Faki and we raised this matter,

“We have written a letter to that effect requesting the African Union to support our bilateral discussion between ourselves and Uganda on the boundaries of our three nations,

We are very much aware of areas that have been identified to have been encroached on by our neighbors, the number of the areas is about 42 areas of encroachment, and we are discussing this in the context of bilateral engagement.”

According to Dau, the government has so far identified 42 areas being encroached on by the neighboring countries including Kenya and Uganda.

In February, Kenyan’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing’oei said his country had not encroached on the territory of South Sudan, noting that boundary delimitation is currently ongoing under the African Union.

“Kenya respects the territorial integrity of all her neighbours and has not encroached on any of their territories. A boundary delimitation process of all borders under the AU is ongoing and is being conducted consultatively and jointly with our neighbours,” said Dr Sing’oei.

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