A simmering border dispute between Kenya and South Sudan prompted President Salva Kiir to dispatch a special envoy to Nairobi to mend relations amidst tension between the two countries.
This is over the Nadapal border dispute where tensions have been mounting between communities at the border area between Kenya and South Sudan, following a disputed boundary at the border town, Nadapal, in Kapoeta, Central Equatoria State.
A delegation from Juba met President William Ruto Sunday, February 12 at the Nakuru State Lodge as part of efforts to address the issue.
This is after the tension sparked concerns that the dispute may escalate into a diplomatic row between Kenya and South Sudan.
Kiir sent special advisor Minister of presidential Affairs Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin and Eastern Equatoria State Governor Louis Lobong to deliver his message to Ruto Nadapal border issue
Clashes erupted last week after Kenyan security forces reportedly moved to the border point.
This was part of a 2009 agreement reached between Kenya and Southern Sudan, in Nairobi.
“Our relations are tarnished around the world, as you take up your new assignment, go and normalize our relations with Kenya, especially the recent tension along the border corridor and also improve our diplomatic relations with other countries,” Kiir told Bol Mel after taking oath office at J1 on Wednesday.
Ruto said that the stability of South Sudan is integral to the economic integration of East Africa.
“Kenya commits to elimination of all barriers to achieve social and economic growth in the region,” he said.
Not many details on the meeting were released.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki was at Nadapal on February 2, 2023, where he announced the establishment of security installations there to protect Kenyan territorial integrity.
Kenya was given a temporary presence at the Nadapal area of South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State, a 2009 joint ministerial meeting between then Southern Sudan and Kenya shows.
The ministerial meeting on the management of the common border between Kenya and Southern Sudan stated that Kenya will establish a temporary border control post at Nadapal.
The meeting was attended by six former Southern Sudanese ministers and heads of missions and 18 Kenyan officials.
The two countries agreed that a technical team will be established to demarcate the actual boundary between the two countries at an appropriate time.
The parties also agreed on strengthening collaboration in the security issues and protection of rights and civil liberties of the citizens of both countries.
However, it is not clear whether the consensus meeting is still valid or not.