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Kenya government has denied trafficking arms into South Sudan       

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government on Monday denied allegations by the UN special advisory on genocide that Kenya has been trafficking large quantities of weapons and ammunition into South Sudan.

Monica Juma, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said Nairobi is distressed by the recent comments published in the international media attributed to Adama Dieng, the UN Special Advisor for Prevention of Genocide, alleging the Kenya role in the prolonging of the conflict in South Sudan.

“The allegations by the senior UN official insinuating Kenya’s complicity in trafficking large quantities of weapons and ammunition into South Sudan, are not only unfortunate and misguiding, but lack facts,” Juma said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Juma said the allegations came at a time when all regional countries have embarked on rigorous process of revitalization of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan signed in August 2015.

Dieng was quoted in the media accusing both Kenya and Uganda for contributing to the conflict, saying that large quantities of weapons and ammunition are flowing into South Sudan through the two countries.

The UN special advisory said peace will be achieved in South Sudan only “if we have concerted regional and international efforts to leave no further options to the South Sudanese leaders to stop and start negotiating.”

Juma said the situation in South Sudan remains extremely complex and such unhelpful statements must be avoided at this critical time in pursuit of a credible and all-inclusive peace process.

“Guided by its principles of peaceful co-existence with its neighbors and other nations, and the resolution of conflicts/disputes by peaceful means, Kenya’s record is clear with regards to efforts in search for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa,” the statement said.

Juma reaffirmed Kenya’s longstanding commitment in search for stability and lasting peace in South Sudan as a precondition for economic, social and political prosperity.

She said Kenya’s relations with South Sudan and her role in the Peace Process are of utmost interest to the mutual well-being of the peoples of the two countries, and to the regional peace, security and economic prosperity.

“Kenya remains committed to peaceful resolution of the South Sudan conflict and will continue to play its rightful mediation role bilaterally and within the framework of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD),” she said.

Juma said Nairobi was instrumental in the establishment of the IGAD initiative to contain the situation and persuade the Parties to settle their differences peacefully following the outbreak of the conflict in South Sudan on December 15, 2013, and the ensuing political and security crisis.

She said Kenya has relentlessly engaged the political leadership in South Sudan besides asking the two main warring factions of SPLM in Government and SPLM/A-IO to end hostilities, enforce the ceasefire, and resume the implementation of the peace process.

“These efforts paid off with the de-escalation of violent hostilities, intermittent ceasefires and tranquility within the capital Juba and other areas in the country, offering an opportunity for political dialogue among the Parties,” Juma said.



African Parliament to discuss curbing illicit firearm trade

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) will this week host a regional seminar with the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Johannesburg to curb the illicit trade in firearms in Africa.

The seminar, scheduled for March 2-3, is meant to increase parliamentary engagement, understanding and ownership of regional and international arms control instruments.

PAP President, Roger Nkodo Dang said there is a need for the continent to fight the illicit trade in firearms in the continent.

“As a continental Parliament, the PAP needs a strengthened mandate in order to effectively facilitate and provide a platform for continuous parliamentary action and engagement on the risks posed by SALW,” he said.

Many African countries have not ratified the Malabo Protocol which will give PAP legislative powers.

“Without full legislative powers, it will be challenging to effectively harmonize and coordinate national and regional efforts and legislations for silencing the guns in Africa by 2020,” he said.

Karin Olofsson, secretary general of the Parliamentary Forum on SALW said violence and prolonged conflicts in several African countries are fuelled by the availability and misuse of illicit SALW.

“Illicit arms flows negatively affect sustainable development and pose a threat to human security and sustainable peace. Effective steps to tackle the uncontrolled proliferation of SALW are crucial to prevent and reduce armed violence, hence the need to empower law-makers to reinforce their legislative, oversight and awareness-raising functions for national implementation of international arms control frameworks,” Olofsson said.

Legislators from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi will take part in the seminar with other PAP members.


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