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» 26.01.2010 - US mission to address E/Africa human rights before AU Summit
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» 08.10.2009 - Joint EAC-US military field training exercise in Uganda
» 29.09.2009 - East African police chiefs eye closer ties with INTERPOL
» 14.09.2009 - Eastern Africa to harmonise strategies to reach food security
» 03.09.2009 - EAC to discuss draft framework on social development

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East Africa | Kenya | Sudan
Politics | Society | Agriculture - Nutrition

Kenya urged to open borders for trade

afrol News, 8 September - Sudan has urged Kenyan government to open up its northern corridor border for regional trade as a measure to curb cross-border conflicts between the two neighbours.

The neighbours have been in conflict for a long time with Kenya accusing southern Sudan of supporting attacks on its civilians.

Southern Sudanese minister for Regional Co-operation, Dr Barnaba Marial, said recent attacks carried out by members of Taposa community on their Turkana counterparts emanate from cultural beliefs on property ownership.

Mr Marial suggested that security should be beefed up in the area, saying militants and armed civilians should be disarmed, including development of infrastructure in the affected areas if the countries are committed to solving the crisis.

"The place has no roads, no schools, let's take these people to school, then they'll understand why they have to forget their cultural practices. No one government can tackle this issue. We need to work together," Mr Marial said.

The minister said this was the only way through which the Comprehensive Peace Agreement can be actualised.

"The Turkana believe that all cattle belong to them. The same belief is held by the Pokot in Kenya, Taposa in Sudan and the Karamojong' of Uganda," Dr Marial said. He noted that with such beliefs, only a traditional system can help solve crisis and deter warriors from carrying out further attacks.

He said his Government had initiated dialogue with local elders concerning recovery of stolen animals and release of hostage. "We'll identify perpetrators, ensure animals are returned, abducted person is released and all those responsible are apprehended," he said.

Sudanese minister did not disclose timeframe for resolving the crisis, which he termed as a complex issue, saying it cannot happen overnight.

He refuted claims by Kenyan Labour minister John Munyes, who is also MP from the affected area, that the Taposa were being armed by southern Sudan government.

"We fought a guerrilla war responsibly for 21 years and as a legitimate government we would not be careless and arm tribes," Dr Marial said.

At the same time Dr Marial urged Kenyans to explore Southern Sudan as an investment hub.

Tensions have upped in the affected regions with cross-border cattle raids on the increase and now brutal and armed violence becoming order of such raids.

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