Leaders call for tight security along Kenya-South Sudan border

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has called for an end to tribal atrocities (Credit: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
By Cyrus Ombati.

NAIROBI, KENYA: Turkana leaders Thursday urged the government to beef up security along the main Kenya/South Sudan border in the wake of fighting in major areas in the continent's newest country.

The leaders said there is a likelihood that a number of refugees expected to arrive in Kenya would be armed hence need for beefed up security to screen for the weapons.

Led by the Turkana County Woman Representative Joyce Emanikor, the leaders said the fighting in South Sudan will definitely spill into Kenya.

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"There is need for major screening of all those arriving to ensure trafficking of weapons are contained. We are concerned the effects will spill into the region," she said.

Interior cabinet secretary Joseph ole Lenku assured the MP Kenya is working with UNHCR to ensure refugees arriving at the border are catered for.

"We have set up bases to receive and process those arriving following the happenings there. We are equally concerned because it will have an impact on our internal affairs," said Lenku who added government agencies are closely monitoring the development there.

Other sources said the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) has been meeting daily since Sunday save for Christmas Day and Boxing Day to get briefs on the development in South Sudan.

The committee has been pushing for the evacuation of Kenyans trapped there and part of the victims were expected Thursday in Nairobi aboard a Chartered Kenya Airways flight.

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More than 300 of the 1,600 Kenyans who were in Bor region have so far been evacuated to Nairobi by the Kenya Defence Forces. The bigger number is still stuck in the region amid calls for evacuation.

Fighting broke out between two factions in Juba a week ago and it has escalated to other areas forcing thousands of foreigners to flee. The fighting pits local Dinkas and Nuers for political powers.

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Turkana South Sudan Joseph Ole Lenku Kenya Airways