Over 6,000 Kenyans opt to remain in volatile S Sudan

By KNA

The Kenyan government has evacuated thousands Kenyans from South Sudan

At least 6,921 Kenyans have opted to remain in  South Sudan despite the ongoing  fighting has left thousands of people killed.

A dispatch from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said the Kenyans felt that there was no threat to their lives.

“The remaining Kenyans numbering 6,921 across the country have expressed willingness to continue with their business since there is no immediate threat to their security,” read the statement.

The ministry said an estimated 20,000 Kenyans have left South Sudan by road and air adding that most of them self-evacuated while the government evacuated those in the most sensitive areas.

The statement said the Government has managed to bring home an estimated 3,000 evacuees under the Emergency Evacuation program which began on December 21, 2013.

“The Kenyan government has steadily evacuated Kenyans who felt unsafe enough to want to return home. An estimated 20,000 Kenyans in total have left South Sudan either by road or by air with most of them self-evacuating while the government evacuated those in the most sensitive areas,” read the statement.

It further said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a South Sudan Crisis Response Team in Nairobi manned by officers from the ministry and security agencies.

It said a hotline number +25420310325 has been installed while the Ministry teamed up with Ushahidi to set up an SMS-to-Internet crowd sourcing effort that allowed Kenyans in South Sudan to use SMS on +254717865554 to communicate their whereabouts, condition and contacts to the ministry.

The statement said the information collected has been valuable to the Kenyan Embassy in Juba and decision makers with regard to the condition of Kenyans in distress in South Sudan.

It however said the situation in South Sudan was moving in a positive direction.

“The conflicting parties – in contact with the IGAD Special Envoys – have agreed in principle to cease hostilities and picked their teams to negotiate a monitored ceasefire and further steps. This is in line with the decisions of the 23rd Extraordinary IGAD Summit of 27th December, 2013,” read the statement