JUBA, May 24, 2013 – The President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta has said his government will jointly with South Sudan undertake three major projects of Lamu oil pipeline, construction of road linking the two countries as well as construction of a railway line to improve trade between the two countries.
President Kenyatta made the revelations on his first official visit to Juba yesterday since he assumed office last month.
Currently, exports from Kenya as well as goods coming through the port of Mombasa to South Sudan have to take the longest route via Uganda to access the market in the Republic of South Sudan thereby increasing the cost of doing business. Considering the amount involved, President Kenyatta said he and his South Sudan counterpart agreed to tackle each project at a time.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta being received by his South Sudan counterpart HE.Kiir at Juba Airport.
[Photo: Phillip Dhil]
However he emphasized the importance and urgency of prioritizing the construction of the road linking the two countries. Though no timeline has been set to start the construction of the road from Juba via Torit, Kapoeta, Narus, on the South Sudan side as well as Lokichogio, Kitale, Eldoret on the Kenya side, President Kenyatta underscored the need to fast track the process.
President Kenyatta pledged to continue strengthening the long standing bilateral relations with South Sudan for the mutual and economic good of the people of the two countries. “The purpose of our visit is to underscore the relation between our countries. It is the intension of my administration to deepen that relationship to ensure that we together prosper”, said President Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s first President after independence Jomo Kenyatta, underscored the importance of African leaders working together to create solution to African problems to ensure peace and stability in the region. He urged African leaders to work together to end the conflict in Kenya’s neighboring Somalia.
Presidents Salva Kiir meeting with Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Juba.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
“In our discussions, we reiterated our belief that a stable Somalia is indeed in the best interest of our region”, President Kenyatta told reporters in a joint press statement.
H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit assured the commitment of his government to closely work with the newly elected Kenyan president. The three projects, he said are very crucial for the mutual benefit for the people of the two countries.
Reported by Matata Safi