Kenya benefits from South Sudan are beyond Macharia Kamau’s claim

Posted: March 10, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan


March 10, 2018 (SSB) — South Sudan is neigbouring Kenya to Southeast of her vast territorial landscape, for decades Kenya has been a good and caring neighbour to Southern Sudan from the time of British rule until the separation of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011 and beyond the Independence, our great relationship has been there since 1960s, from then Kenya and Southern Sudan have been living side by side as good neighbours.

But still within our smart frame of relation some Kenyans have been accusing South Sudanese on unverified claims for quite long and finally it has been firm up by the recent statement from Macharia Kamau, the nominee for Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary (equivalent to Undersecretary in South Sudan) by threatening unspecified measures against South Sudanese living in Kenya.

Kenyan media quoted him telling a parliamentary committee that, “we host tens of thousands of refugees here. We feed and clothe them, yet they treat us inhumanly in their country. This is unacceptable and I won’t stand for it, at least when I am the PS.”

“If you do something bad to a Kenyan again, there will be consequences,” Macharia added without specifying what those may be, could it be a mere bellow for securing his new position or was the diplomat hitting the upper part of the nail must be everyone concern including some Kenyans who know our great historical connection.

In fact, it is the UN who feeds the refugees and on the naked side of it refugees are not given clothes by UN. In the process of catering for Refugees by UN many job opportunities are created for Kenyans, unquestionably Kenya benefits economically from South Sudanese more than South Sudan benefits from Kenyans.

Mr Macharia’s remarks come in the light of hostage taking of Kenyan pilots by Riek’s rebels in Akobo. The pilots’ plane had crashed and killed one woman and some cows according to the rebel sources.

They were released after the plane owners/ not even the Kenya government paid compensation to the victims of the crash, where is the problem? Even if the pilots were detained by the government and later release without harm that still could not drew such undiplomatic language.

It was handled well by the rebel, since the pilots have attested to the death of one woman and some cattle, then pilots of the plane who were unharmed during the incidence must go through lawful channel of settling issues attach to accidents, but since it was handled by the rebels South Sudanese as people cannot be insulted and intimidated on account of rebels activities due to the fact that any government cannot be hold accountable for rebels misdeeds, one may ask what is important about the 2 Kenyans pilots whose plane had killed a human being, on the clear plain of justice that can lead to compensation, it is logic and simple.

What a strange statement, “we feed them, we cloth them”, Kenya has been a good neighbor for decades but a strange statement over the plane that crash and killed a woman and eleven cows according to the rebel statement from rebelled controlled part of Akobo is misplaced and misleading.

such uncouth and hostile statement toward the people of South Sudan should not go unnoticed, after the rebels released the pilots with compensation of almost 107,700 USD coordinated by South Sudanese rebels, Macharia should have differentiate Government and people of South Sudan from rebels and their controlled areas, Kenyans are not being mistreated and target as he claimed, South Sudan is in war but still foreigners are being protected by the conflicting parties.

Could it be that the Kenya government is feeding and clothing the rebels of South Sudan or what do that eccentric declaration meant to the humble people of south Sudan is left to the busy mind of the researchers and diplomatic scholars.

Feeding, clothing and accommodating South Sudanese was a pure lie, South Sudanese refugees are not being fed, cloth by Kenya they are only being host by Kenya government under international obligations and declarations, what South Sudan and Kenya have in common is mutual benefits and affable relations where both are to promote one another.

It was in Kenya that the Sudan peace initiative was initiated under the leadership of former President Daniel Toroitich arab Moi until it was signed in 2005 leading to CPA under the leadership of President Mwai Kibaki, South Sudanese vividly acknowledged and appreciated that effort and hosting.

Kenyans claim of South Sudanese sucking from them without them benefiting can be rubbished through the following facts:

South Sudanese in Kakuma; Kakuma is a town in northwestern Turkana County, Kenya it was established in 1992 to host unaccompanied minors “Sudan Lost Boys” who had fled the war from camps in Ethipia, Sudan and came walking to Kenya border

Later on the camp was expanded to accommodate Ethiopians, Somalis, Congolese, Ugandans, Rwandans, Burundians and Sudanese new comers till the signing of CPA.

After the signing of CPA in 2005 many Sudanese returned to Sudan on Voluntary repatriation but after the December 2013 fighting in Juba many South Sudanese forced their way back into the camp.

Kakuma is situated in the poorest and isolated Region in Kenya; Kakuma camp has better health facilities and a higher percentage of children and full-time education for the host hence providing the host with much needed basis services.

Restrictions on employment deter refugee job seeking, however, all NGOs in the camp ‘employ’ refugees, but due to Kenyan laws prohibiting employment of refugees, they are engaged on a voluntary basis and paid an incentive, which is far lower than a wage a Kenyan or international staff in an equivalent job can get.

Refugees who work for aid agencies are paid around $20–40 per month. The salaries of the local Kenyan or the international staff are 10 to 100 times higher (for the same jobs), e.g. a refugee teacher is pays an ‘incentive’ of 3,000 KSh in contrast to Kenyan teachers who earned 12,000 KSh.

In June 2003 fighting broke out between Sudanese refugees and the host community; the Turkana; many lives were lost on refugee side because they were shot with guns by the host; properties were looted and driven away in carts, on camels and donkey backs at day time by Turkanas while the Kenya Police employed to protect the refugees plainly gaze at the looters.

The Turkanas who are hosting the refugees are now having improved livelihood that was found at a zero score, they are able to sell their cattle, camels, charcoal, firewood to the Refugees.

Kakuma Town which is the center is upgraded into business and administrative center with frequent visit by the refugees and above it all they Turkanas are able to assess water, education, health services and food assistance.

Many Kenyans are employed by UN and other Organizations in the camp such as UNHCR, WFP, LWF, IRC, JRS as managers and teachers with highest pay compare to refugees who are doing the same job.

Importantly every Turkana has his/her Lopai a Turkana word for friend, Lopai to Turkana is one who gives clothes, food stuffs free and at a time buy their belongings such as makaa/charcoal and Akithoo/firewood.

Though with hardship and life threatening activities such as night shooting and looting by the Turkanas, refugees have never thrown a heavy towel of revenge and complain toward the host, even if the authority and UNHCR are aware of the difficulties face by the refugees nothing has ever emerged as a response to such issues.

Turkana as an isolated region in Kenya has been seriously under poverty fang for a number of years hence making thievery another mean for their survival, otherwise since the arrival of Refugees in Turkana, living and life styles of Turkanas has completed changed and as of today they are beginning to see what their brothers in other part of Kenya have been eating.

South Sudanese in Kenya Cities; Employment, Business and Economic; to clear away some fake punches on South Sudanese who are dwelling in Kenya cities, many noise and abuses have been heaped on them but if a shapeless horn of an antelope could be returned Kenya Government and her people coould have done it, abundantly people of Kenya have milked enough from our people in Kenya with yearly million shillings going to the renting dockets.

Across the country South Sudanese families parted with hundred thousand of Shillings monthly to the landlords on renting, whereas hundreds thousands of shillings goes to water and electricity corporations of Kenya for electricity and water bills, on the same note of services thousands of Kenyan girls are employed as home caretakers and housekeepers earning Kenyans’ families thousands of Shillings per a month.

Schools, Colleges and Universities are not left behind in sharing of South Sudanese fortune, on monthly basis South Sudanese are parting with Millions of shillings toward the payment of educational fees across the country.

Business communities are never left behind in their share of profit, Billion of shillings have been landing into Kenya pot of fortune from South Sudanese living in Kenya, South Sudanese businessmen/women, high percentage of South Sudan’s imports pass through Kenya port of Mombasa hence earning them billions of dollars on yearly circle.

Many Businesses in South Sudan are being controlled by Kenyans’ businesses, Banking sector has been dominated and controlled by Kenya Banks such as KCB, Equity, Co-operative, and Air flights have heavily been under the shopping coats of Kenya Airway and Fly 540, Kenya Insurance companies and ticketing agencies have been running their businesses as they wish, how much shillings do Kenya get from South Sudan a week from such businesses?

How many Kenyans have been employed by such institutions and to what extend are their benefits compare to few South Sudanese they have employed?

To make the matter open many NGOs operating in South Sudan have their operational bases, operational accounts in Kenya, what do Kenyans think of it in term of economic viability?

On the far end of it many Kenyans are currently employed by UN and many NGOs operating in South Sudan hence sending hundreds thousand of shillings at the end of the month to their relatives.

Many Kenyan who came to South Sudan without knowing what it mean to have an account are now millionaires with big businesses both in Kenya and South Sudan, where is our mistakes, how are Kenyans feeding and clothing South Sudanese according to the wording of Macharia and some Kenyans who are still sipping from the same pot of lying.

Sincerely we are benefiting from Kenya infrastructural services and at the same time pumping in billion of shillings into the same infrastructure for more expansion and developments, as such if Kenya become an East Africa Economic hub then it is not because of Kenya own economic strength but as a result of mutual interests and coexistences.

South Sudan put into Kenya economic huge deposits while Kenya flattens South Sudan economic through outward transfers.

In conclusion South Sudanese are buyers/users of Kenya goods and services hence making, them promoters of Kenya economic and not as claimed by Macharia.

Awuol Gabriel Arok, a Writer and a Poet, has a Bachelor Degree in Social and Developmental Studies from the University of Juba, South Sudan, he is the author of unpublished book ‘‘The Wisdom Horn’’ and an Initiator of ‘‘Your Tribe is My Tribe’’ and ‘‘Giving Heart Foundation’’ initiatives. He can be reached via his email Address:

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