Horndiplomat-As President Uhuru Kenyatta received United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in Nairobi on Sunday, concern on the new wave of violence that erupted in South Sudan last week was a top priority.
In strongly worded declarations, the two called on President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar to restrain their forces against war by calling for a permanent ceasefire and implementing the peace
“They must immediately commit to the complete implementation of the peace agreement, including the permanent ceasefire and redeployment of military forces from Juba,” President Kenyatta urged.
Ban was dismayed that South Sudan leaders had failed to honor a world call for peace in the young democracy.
“The two leaders are now disappointing the whole world and I have been urging them that they should listen and hear the voices of the region and the world.”
The UN Chief further lauded President Kenyatta’s leadership and commitment to enforce peace in South Sudan which has enjoyed independence for only five years.
While recognising the role played by African states to ending war in South Sudan, Ban called on Kiir and Machar to implement the peace agreement intended to stablise the country.
He pledged the UN’s commitment to continue supporting the peace process which Kenya and other African states have been pushing under the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.
President Kenyatta urged Africa and the rest of the international community to continue supporting South Sudan and ensure peace is restored.
“We have all watched events in South Sudan with sorrow. Our youngest brother in the region and the world has fallen yet again into division and violence,” he regretted.
Whereas the rest of the world will stand to support South Sudan, President Kenyatta urged Kiir and Machar to also play their role of implementing the peace accord of integrating the police units to patrol Juba.
“Equally, all parties to the conflict had better direct their energies to empowering and directing the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission to operate continuously so as to address issues as and when they arise.”
The Head of State appealed to Ban to ensure that the UN gives support to programmes intended to fight terrorism and deradicalise youths who are forcefully recruited into terror groups.
Kenya which has suffered the brunt of terrorism emanating from its closeness to Somalia and radicalisation within the country, has been implementing a myriad of programmes intended to respond to terrorism and deradicalise youths duped into the terror groups.
The country also deployed Kenya Defence Forces to join AMISOM to contain terrorism in Somalia and has paid a big price of attacks on its soldiers.
“I have no hesitation in reminding the Secretary General, and the UN system, of the solemnity of their obligation. And I have no hesitation in reminding them that that obligation extends to the support of well-founded programs of repatriation,” he urged.
On Somalia, Ban revisited Kenya’s dilemma of closing the Dadaab Refugee Camp which hosts hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees by urging Kenya to reconsider the tripartite agreement of voluntary return.
He pledged his support for Kenya in handling the Somalia issue in view that the country will also hold its federal elections in August.
Ban is in the country for the fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) that kicked off on Sunday at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.