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Kenya agrees to ease movement of South Sudan bound goods from Port of Mombasa

Kenya President William Samoei Ruto on Saturday lifted restrictions which had previously limited South Sudan to importing goods through Nairobi and not the Port of Mombasa.

Ruto after meeting his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir said that recent policy changes imposed by his government were hurting trade with Juba.

“I have confirmed to you Mr. President, the government of South Sudan and the business community in South Sudan that the government of Kenya has now clarified our position that goods out of the Port of Mombasa can be cleared either in Mombasa, in Nairobi or Naivasha there are no restrictions on your business people and your traders on where they clear goods contrary to the situation that existed before,” said Ruto at a joint press conference held with Kiir at the presidential office in Juba.

The two leaders also agreed to fast-track implementation of the mega infrastructure project the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) that includes neighboring Ethiopia.

The LAPSSET project aims to connect the three countries through the 1,300 km Lamu-Isiolo-Lokichar-Lodwar-Nadapal road network.

The northern branch of the corridor under LAPSSET is the Isiolo-Moyale section supposed to connect to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

“Your Excellency, It is important also that you and I have agreed on the LAPSSET Corridor as I informed you the road from Lamu to Garissa and on to Isiolo is now being worked on and will be complete anytime from now so that we connect our people for trade, business and investment using the LAPSSET Corridor,” said Ruto.

Kenya and South Sudan have also agreed to finish the remaining section of the road linking Nakodok to Nadapal in South Sudan’s Kapoeta East County.

Ruto also revealed his government’s plan to establish Kenya revenue authority post to facilitate trade between Kenya and South Sudan at a place to be agreed upon in the Northern Corridor section.

In addition, Ruto said Kenya is going to supply boots, uniforms, food and medicine to support the integration process of the 83,000 unified forces in South Sudan.

President Kiir thanked Ruto for agreeing with him in pursuing areas of common interest at both regional and international level.

“We also briefly touched on economic cooperation, as you are all aware almost all our imports come through the Port of Mombasa and any policy on the Kenyan side with respect to imports clearance, location is often felt here in South Sudan on commodity prices,” said Kiir.

Kiir disclosed that he discussed with Ruto on the need to adopt unified positions on regional and international issues that can advance African interests.

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