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Kenyatta to Meet Machar, Kiir in Ethiopia Today

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will today Thursday travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to join other regional leaders for the IGAD-led South Sudan peace process.

In her inaugural press briefing yesterday, State House Deputy Spokesperson Kanze Dena said the President’s visit affirms the country’s continued support to the ongoing peace process in South Sudan.

“Regional security remains an important factor to our national peace and development,” Ms Dena said.

She added: “In the continued search for peace and stability for our northern neighbor, Kenya will continue to support the IGAD-led process on South Sudan.”

Ms Dena emphasized that Kenya will remain committed to the course of peace and stability in South Sudan as an independent arbiter within the IGAD framework.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar are meeting in Addis Ababa as part of a wider effort by IGAD to resolve the South Sudan crisis.

The 2nd Council of Ministers of IGAD recently resolved that there should be “one more round of Intensive Interlinked Consultations with the parties to identify possible compromises.”

Some 7.6 million people need aid across the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, after long-simmering a political rivalry between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar erupted into full-fledged conflict in December 2013.

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More than half of those in need – nearly 4.3 million – are displaced, including about 2.5 million who have fled to neighbouring countries.

In addition, there is growing food insecurity, as well as the threat of deadly diseases such as cholera and malaria.

At the same time, the country is one of the most dangerous for humanitarian workers. Last year, 30 aid workers lost their lives – making it the deadliest year for aid workers on record. In addition, at least 1,159 humanitarian access incidents were reported, up from 908 in 2016 and 909 in 2015.

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