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President Kiir urges new envoys to strengthen bilateral ties with neighbors

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Wednesday urged the two newly appointed Senior Presidential Advisors on Special Programs to strengthen bilateral relations between South Sudan and neighboring countries.

In December 2022, President Kiir appointed Benjamin Bol Mel Chol and James Odhok, Governor of Upper Nile State as Senior Presidential Advisors on Special Programs.

Their swearing-in was administered by Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut.

Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday at J-1, Kiir urged the envoys to contribute strongly to the development of the bilateral relations between South Sudan and Kenya.

 “Our relations are tarnished around the world, as you take up your new assignment, go and normalize our relations with Kenya, especially the recent tension along the border corridor and also improve our diplomatic relations with other countries,” Kiir said in a statement issued on the Facebook page of the President’s office.

On February 5th, clashes erupted between the Turkana community of Kenya and the Toposa community of South Sudan over a border dispute in the Nadapal area.

Kiir reiterated his promise to never take South Sudan to war, especially with neighboring countries in regard to border issues.

“I have stated many times that I will never take the country back to war again,” Kiir said.

The head of state tasked the new envoys to help improve the security situation in the country.

 “You have a bigger task ahead of you especially improving the security situation in the state. The peace that Pope Francis emphasized must be maintained to foster stability and development in our country.”

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