Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma has blasted the United Nations (UN) over claims by a senior official that Kenya was fuelling the conflict in South Sudan by facilitating the flow of weapons to the country.
Juma described the allegations by UN Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, that Kenya and Uganda were complicit in trafficking arms into South Sudan as 'unfortunate' and 'lacking facts'.
“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,” she stated.
Juma further accused the global body of interfering with the work of countries in the region, which she said was aimed at getting the warring factions to agree to structured peace talks.
In a recent interview with the Voice of America, Dieng stated that the conflict in South Sudan could be pinned on Kenya and Uganda allowing parties to import large quantities of arms through their territories.
[caption caption="UN Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng"][/caption]
“It is true that large quantities of weapons and ammunition are flowing into South Sudan through Kenya and Uganda,” he noted in the interview that was done at the end of January.
He further explained that the only way lasting peace would be achieved in the country was “if we have concerted regional and international efforts to leave no further options to the South Sudanese leaders to stop and start negotiating.”
Juma has maintained that Kenya was impartial in the conflict and would continue to play its mediation role.
She stated: “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."
South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya, Chol Ajongo, however, asserted that his country had a right to purchase arms just like any other nation.
“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,” he stated.
[caption caption="South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya Chol Ajongo"][/caption]
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