Kenya’s Foreign Minister to lobby international community on behalf of South Sudan

East Africa
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amina(Left) Amina Mohammed, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade. She has promised to lobby support for South Sudan if elected AU chairperson later in the month.

[Nairobi, Kenya, TCT] Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade has promised that if elected African Union chairperson, she will rally the international community to give priority and resources to the South Sudan peace process.
Speaking recently to the Saturday Nation, Ambassador Amina Mohammed regretted that the conflict in South Sudan had gone on for long because of complications brought about by outside interference.
“AU and its African Peace and Security Architecture are currently seized of the South Sudan conflict. The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development is at the forefront of seeking a peace agreement among the warring factions. Some fruits of these efforts have been seen with a fairly stable government now in place,” she said.
Ambassador Amina is a candidate for the African Union Commission chairperson position, left vacant by the outgoing chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa. Ms. Amina faces off with Equatorial Guinea’s Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy, Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat, Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily, and Botswana’s Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.
Ambassador Amina was responding to a writer to the newspaper who wanted to know what she will do about the South Sudan civil war, which began in December 2013, and has continued, with serious abuse of human rights.

Kenyans jailed in South Sudan
Without giving any specifics regarding the four Kenyans who were jailed last year in South Sudan, she said Kenya’s ministry of Foreign Affairs will assist Kenyans who face criminal charges by ensuring they get a fair and speedy hearing.
“It is also worth noting that there are over 200 foreigners in our local jails. In the case of South Sudan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been seized of the case and the mission has provided and continues to provide consular services to date,’ she said.
She added that in any criminal case involving Kenyans abroad, the law of the country in question will be allowed to take its course. The four Kenyans were jailed for allegedly stealing money from President Salva Kiir’s office. Late last year, their families appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene on their behalf.
“It is not out of the ordinary to be jailed in a foreign land. Kenyan jails have hundreds of foreigners who are serving terms after which they are repatriated. The same applies for Kenyans incarcerated abroad,” she said.
She denied that the Kenyan government has not done much to help its nationals who are being held in South Sudan since some time last year. She said that in 2016 alone, 150 Kenyans were released from foreign jails.
“It is not true that the Kenyan government does not go to the aid of its citizens. Indeed, our missions abroad render consular service on a daily basis to Kenyans,” she said.

By tradition, the post of AU chairperson rotates between Anglophone and Francophone countries. Ms. Dlamini-Zuma, from English-speaking South Africa, succeeded French-speaking Jean Ping in 2012. The position is expected to be filled later this month after Ms. Dlamini-Zuma refused a second four year term in office.

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