The Kenyan envoy reiterated strong commitment by the Republic of Kenya to strengthen bilateral ties with the Government of EES to improve investment atmosphere in the State.
The diplomat then expressed contentment after meeting with the State authorities and Kenyan business communities residing in the State. He said that he will prepare a comprehensive report to his Government in Nairobi for possible areas that require follow ups.
Ashioyah visited the EES towns of Torit and Kapoeta to listen to the concerns of the Kenyan traders and to discuss with the government in Torit ways of harmonizing relationship that could generate a secure and peaceful atmosphere for investments in the State to prosper.
The envoy acknowledged the commitment of the State government in improving security and the rule of law which he said could attract Kenyan investors and other countries that have an interest in the region.
The diplomat disclosed that Kenyan embassy in Juba and the national government have embarked on a draft proposal that aims at building a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) which will broadly spell out four areas of cooperation so that both governments; Kenyan and South Sudan, could have a secure and mutual protection of investment between the two nations.
The JCC proposal is expected to be complete by end of March 2012. Upon its completion, the two partners will sign the document on April this year.
Recalling chronological ties between the two nations which he termed as “solid”, the Kenyan envoy assured South Sudanese at large of his government’s commitment to support South Sudan to join the regional body; Eastern African Community (EAC).
He called on the Kenyan community across South Sudan to operate their businesses on legal grounds by respecting South Sudan’s laws.
However, Gurtong spoke to a section of Kenyans residing in EES and have complained of unfair trial in the South Sudanese courts including harassments by particular State security operative’s as well higher charges for visas, including immigration issues and high taxation at the Kenya- South Sudan borders.
They presented their grievances to their embassy in Juba while appealing to EES Government to immediately address issues related to harassments in order to realize fruitful investment in South Sudan by the Kenyan people.
On his turn, the State caretaker Deputy Governor Mr. Loluke assured the Deputy Ambassador and the Kenyan business community that his government is so committed to promoting the rule of law and respect of human rights regardless of nationalities or origin.
He further assured the diplomat that the State Government was working hard to ensure that the State security personnel are deployed accordingly to create a conducive atmosphere for investment that will enhance real regional integration based on free settlement for Kenyan investors instead of having foreign missions only.
Regretfully, Hon. Loluke admitted that some cases of harassment had evidently been committed by the State security organs against foreigners, high taxation among others have been noticed; as part of the resolution, the State authorities in collaboration with the national government of the Republic of South Sudan dismantled a number of unlawful check points and roadblocks in the State.
According to him they have already instructed the immigration office to consider the three months period for VISAS as internationally required by law since South Sudan is in the process of joining the East African Community.
Speaking in relation to sexual immorality practiced in Torit markets by most foreigners, Loluke asked Kenyan business communities from various backgrounds to do their businesses in an acceptable manner that won’t destroy the health of South Sudanese people.