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South Sudan VP Taban Deng Gai (left) meeting President Salva Kiir at the state house j1. Photo by presidency

 

JUBA — South Sudan Vice President for Infrastructure Cluster Taban Deng Gai this afternoon met President Salva Kiir Mayardit, according to a statement by presidency.

This comes following a week after the senior government official made remarks declaring that President Salva Kiir was the only ‘presumptive’ winner of the country’s upcoming elections due for end of the transitional period.

According to the presidency statement, Taban briefed Kiir on development of roads in the country in the meeting also attended by minister of presidential affairs Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

“Monday 14th June 2021- His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit was briefed by His Excellency Taban Deng Gai, Vice President for Infrastructure Cluster,” the presidency statement said.

It said Vice President Taban briefed Kiir “on the ongoing  construction  of Juba- Bor road, Juba-Torit- Nadapal Road, upgrading of Juba-Nimule Road, and Juba-Yei- Kaya Road which would commence soon.” - Sudans Post

Chargé d’Affaires Eric Kneedler.  Image: TWITTER/ US EMBASSY

The tourism sector can breathe a sigh of relief after the United States lowered Kenya’s travel advisory level to two, down from four, adjusting travel guidance for vaccinated Americans in the process.

In a notice dated June 8, 2021, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for Kenya due to Covid-19, indicating a moderate level of Covid-19 in the country.

The move is good news not only to the tourism sector that was affected by the earlier advisory but also to the Kenyan market. 

In April, the US retained the highest travel advisory on Kenya following what said was the steep rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, as advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The move was a major blow to the tourism sector, considering that the US is the leading international tourist market source for Kenya. 

Investment firm–Cytonn had decried that the move by both the UK and USA was expected to result in a decline in the number of tourist arrivals, as the two markets are key sources.

The latest data from the Tourism Research Institute (TRI) shows US and UK were ranked as second and fourth highest source markets for tourists in Kenya, respectively from January to October 2020, with 53,444 tourists from the US and 42,341 tourists from the UK.

The US travel advisory on listing Kenya at Level Four came days after the UK added Kenya on its ‘Red List’, saying it had established the lethal South African coronavirus variant is spreading locally, with the country having a high rate of Covid-19 infections.

In its advisory, the US has also cautioned its citizens from traveling along the Kenya-Somalia border and some coastal areas due to terrorism, and areas of Turkana County due to crime.

Also, US citizens have been asked to be careful when visiting the Nairobi neighbourhoods of Eastleigh and Kibera at all times due to crime and kidnapping. 

 “Be especially careful when traveling after dark anywhere in Kenya due to crime,” part of the advisory notice reads. By Kevin Cheruiyot, The Star

Image via The New Times

 

Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) on Sunday afternoon said they would repatriate a Ugandan soldier who was caught on the Rwandan side of the border.

The member of Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) was identified as Private Bakuru Muhuba in Burera District, Northern Province.

According to a statement issued by the military, Pte Muhuba would be repatrated and handed over to Ugandan authorities.

Muhuba was dressed in UPDF camouflage uniform, armed with a medium machine gun (MMG) with its 100 rounds, 01 Binocular, a cellphone and his military identification documents, the statement noted. - Edwin Ashimwe, The New Times

  • Residents during the evictions at Makima in Embu county on Saturday, April 24, 2021.  TWITTER
 
  • The government has asked a private investor in Mwatate, Taita Taveta County, to evict over 3,500 Kenyans on their 2,000-acre parcel of land.  A report by the Nation on Sunday, June 13, indicated that Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), in a letter addressed to Taita Hills and Sattlick Lodges manager, wanted the individuals to be removed from the land to pave way for the construction of a Ksh40 million fence.

    The construction of the fence had begun 10 years ago but stalled after KWS claimed that its workers were being attacked by the locals.

    The service further indicated that the individuals had been vandalising and in some instances, stealing the raw materials meant for the construction process hence driving the cost upwards.

    A Kenya Wildlife Service officer on duty.
    A Kenya Wildlife Service officer on duty.
    FILE

    The individuals in question have settled on the 2,000-acre parcel since 1980s when they first settled their.

    Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary has claimed ownership of the land on which the fence which covers the 30-km stretch at Kamtonga-Alia is set to be constructed. 

    The residents had taken KWS in court accusing the entity of encroaching on its land in the name of constructing the fence.

    The court, however, ruled in favour of the service allowing it to put up the fence which is aimed at reducing human-wildlife conflict as well as poaching tendencies.

    "Please note that after the court ruling that the fence has not interfered with the complaints parcel of land and ordered continuation to completion of it, KWS has embarked to complete it as per that court order.

    "After the exercise commenced, tension by local communities started mounting and by yesterday morning our fence team upon reaching the site reported vandalism suspected it could have been done by those communities who have settled along the fence construction line claiming land ownership," read the letter in part.

    The residents appealed to the state not to evict them asking to be supplied with their own title deeds. 

    This comes a year after residents of Kajiado County rejected an order by President Uhuru Kenyatta on the expansion of the Nairobi National Park, arguing that it will make them homeless.

    They moved to court to seek permanent orders against the directive issued by the Kenya Wildlife Service. Kenyatta's administration was seeking to expand land in Nairobi National Park to conserve the environment and wildlife. 

    The Head of State directed that national parks and reserves should have their title deeds to protect them from land grabbers.

    Entrance gate at the Nairobi National Park.
    Entrance gate at the Nairobi National Park. A tour van driver collapsed and died in the line of duty on May 31, 2020.
    FILE Kenyans.co.ke

US troops will reportedly fight al-Shabaab militants in Horn of Africa, main cause of terror attacks in region 

 

The US will send troops to Kenya in a bid to aid East African countries in the war against al-Shabaab terrorists, local media reported Sunday.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab terrorists have plagued East African countries since 2006, leaving a trail of death, injuries, and suffering in their wake.

In a letter to the US Congress, “President Biden said that he had approved sending special operations troops to Kenya, which are expected to collaborate with the Kenyan military in combating Al-Shabaab. The number of troops is not indicated," Kenya’s Nation daily reported.

Last year the US Defense Department said in a statement that then-President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon and US AFRICOM "to reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021," referring to the country east and northeast of Kenya where al-Shabaab is based.

Before the withdrawal, the US had 650-800 troops in Somalia which helped the African nation fight al-Shabaab.

In 2015, al-Shabaab terrorists killed more than 148 people in an attack on a university in Northern Kenya. Most of the victims were students.

Al-Shabaab was behind a 2017 truck bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu that took some 600 lives, the worst attack in the Horn of Africa country’s history. By Andrew Wasike, Anadolu

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