Home Main Story South Sudan’s Kiir, Kenya’s Ruto Discuss Bilateral Ties, Arms Embargo

South Sudan’s Kiir, Kenya’s Ruto Discuss Bilateral Ties, Arms Embargo

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto met and held bilateral talks in Juba on Saturday.

Kiir, flanked by his deputies, advisers, ministers and army generals, was at Juba airport to receive Ruto.

This was Ruto’s first official visit to Juba since he was elected president.

“H.E. the President of the Republic of Kenya William S. Ruto has arrived.  As you can see, He was welcomed by his brother, President Salva Kiir at the airport, and the two leaders will discuss a wide range of bilateral ties and the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement,” said Presidential Affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

South Sudan, Marial said, looks forward to getting the support of the Kenyan government on lifting the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations, United States and its European allies to allow Africa’s newest nation acquire weapons to defend its territorial integrity and to impose the rule of law and order in the country.

“The unnecessary unified forces have been graduated in Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal, and Upper Nile. They need to be deployed but they cannot be deployed with sticks. They need weapons and other military equipment to allow provide protection and safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country,” explained the minister.

He added, “Kenyan is one of the countries in the region which can play a role in the advocacy to lift the arms embargo imposed on the country”.

For his part, Ruto said he was in the country “to hold bilateral talks on trade, economy, and investment opportunities and to deepen diplomatic relations between Kenyan and South Sudan”.

Multiple presidential sources told {Sudan Tribune} on Saturday that the two leaders held fruitful discussions on bilateral matters.

The Kenyan president pledged to support South Sudan’s call for lifting of arms embargo imposed on the country.

He further emphasized the need for the two countries to ease trading between the countries.

Also discussed, Ruto disclosed, were issues on the Lapset Corridor Program.

The Lapsset Corridor Program is a regional flagship and key strategic project intended to provide transport and logistics infrastructure aimed at creating easy connectivity between the Eastern African Countries of Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. The project connects a population of 160 million people in the three countries.

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