Kenya, South Sudan hold talks over rising border insecurity

A Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) officer carries AK-47 riffles surrendered during a peace meeting at Kapedo area in Turkana East in 2020. [Lucas Ngasike, Standard]

Turkana leaders have renewed talks with their South Sudan Counterparts to address border tension pitting communities along the common boundary.

For the last week, there has been brewing tension along Nadapal Kenya-South Sudan border after a suspected Toposa militia shot at the Kenya security armoured vehicle at the camp and shattered the windscreen.

Two people, among them a local and Toposa honey hunter were reportedly shot dead by unknown gunmen in separate incidents along the border point.

Turkana County Commissioner Jacob Ouma confirmed the incident, saying some suspected militia shot at the security installations at Nadapal border.

"There was an incident where a security camp was sprayed with bullets by unknown gunmen suspected to have crossed over from the neighbouring Country. We have treated the incident as a security concern. Our forces are on high alert along the border," Mr Ouma said.

Mr Ouma said security has been beefed up along the border areas adding that they have been having intergovernmental security discussions with their South Sudan counterparts over the incident.

The senior administrator said they have secured a watering point at at foot of the Mogila hills that has always been a source of conflicts where Turkana herders had settled.

He said they have been having meetings with their South Sudanese authorities that will ensure the restoration of peace and security along the border.

Sources privy to security reveal that there has been a border dispute pitting Kenya and South Sudan along Nadapal-Nakodok stretch.

The dispute has delayed the completion of Lokichoggio -Nadapal road after Chinese road construction workers complained of being shot along the highway.

Area legislator Daniel Epuyo said they have initiated talks with their South Sudan authorities to quell border tension.

"We want our people to stay peacefully and enjoy resources together at their common border because they are part of the Ateker people who speak the same dialect and share a common cultural background. We are in touch with the authorities from the other side over peace and stability in the region," Mr Epuyo said.

Turkana Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai said they were in talks with his South Sudanese counterpart to ensure peace has been achieved in the region.

As leaders, our aim is to ensure the communities co-exist peacefully and share water and pasture along their borders in harmony because these are the communities of common ancestry, Lomorukai said.