South Sudan on Wednesday summoned Kenya’s envoy to Juba Samwel Nandwa to protest an alleged encroachment on its territory.
A statement issued by South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation says Juba wants a diplomatic solution but wants the two countries to address a border dispute with Kenya.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon Mayiik Ayii Deng, met with the Kenyan Ambassador to South Sudan (Samuel Nandwa) to discuss areas of mutual concern. Issues concerning our mutual border were raised,” said the statement.
“The minister, on behalf of the government of South Sudan, would like to assure all South Sudanese citizens that the highest levels of government are aware of the sensitivities at the border and are working in cooperation with our neighbours to ensure peace, prosperity and maintenance of border integrity," it said.
Clashes at common border
Mayii met with the Kenyan diplomat on Wednesday after clashes between the Toposa and Turkana communities at their common border. The two communities routinely cross their borders while looking for pasture.
In South Sudan, local and state officials in Eastern Equatoria claimed in several interviews last week that a convoy of Kenyan security officers strayed briefly into South Sudan territory.
This resulted in demonstrations by Taposa youth, calling on the national government to engage the Kenyan government to resolve the issue.
The two countries, however, have a portion of their border largely undetermined at the Ilemi Triangle, a sparsely populated area of about 14,000km2.
In 2019, both countries had agreed to establish a joint team to help mark the border which South Sudan inherited from Sudan.