Kenya is committed to the promotion of peace and stability in the region as a condition for socio- economic development under President Uhuru Kenyatta leadership who is at the forefront of the efforts advancing peace process in the region.
Cabinet Secretary Amb. Monica Juma was speaking at Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University in Washington DC on August 24, 2018 where she delivered a lecture on “Kenya’s Doctrine of Peacebuilding,” focusing on the South Sudan and Somalia peace process.
The CS said the security and political situation in South Sudan remains unstable with protracted armed conflict and serious decline of socio-economic conditions. She noted that the existence of deep mistrust among the parties involved often led to differences in policy implementation and organization of government that manifest into conflict and rebellion.
She said that IGAD Member States and the international community have continued to engage bilaterally, and also underscored the need for collective action to seek solutions for peace and stability in South Sudan.
In highlighting Kenya’s commitment in the stabilization efforts for South Sudan, the CS Juma said that “President Kenyatta informed by common experiences in Kenya, continues to engage with the political leadership and implore them to leverage the diversity of South Sudan and harness it to build strong and sustainable structures that respond effectively to the needs of the people.”
While commending the role played by the international community in South Sudan, particularly in provision of humanitarian support for the affected population, the CS urged them not to give up due to the long process conceding the suffering of the innocent majority who continue to bear the brunt of the conflict. The CS encouraged international and external stakeholders to continue engaging positively through provision of financing and other resources.
Amb. Juma reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to continue supporting the peace process by drawing from its experiences in mediation and conflict resolution and work with the South Sudanese Parties, within IGAD, the African Union and the United Nations to foster peace, stability and development in South Sudan and the region.
Despite the stalemate in South Sudan, the CS noted, there has been a number of developments in the region, including the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by a record 49 countries while 9 have ratified the agreement, which promises to boost intra-African Trade, create a market of more than one billion people and GDP of more than US$3.4 trillion that point to bright prospects for the continent.
The lecture was attended by Reuben Brigety, the dean of the School, Jenniffer Cooke, director of the Institute of African Affairs, Amb. Robinson Githae, Kenya’s Ambassador to U.S, and students among others.
By Kawira Githinji