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Kenya vows to stop aiding South Sudanese opposition groups
Last Updated: 2017-11-21 07:20 | Xinhua
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Kenya's Ambassador to South Sudan said Monday that his country would not allow its territory to be used to carry out rebellious activities against the government and people of neighboring South Sudan.

Cleland Leshore said Kenya supports peace efforts to end the conflict in the world's youngest country and it would not meddle in South Sudanese affairs.

"I want to assure the government and people of South Sudan, the region and the international community that the government of Kenya will not allow Kenya to be used as a launching pad for any subversive activity against the government and people of South Sudan," Leshore said in Juba during a plenary meeting organized by South Sudan's peace monitor, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

He said since South Sudan plunged into civil war in mid-2013, neighboring countries took sides in the conflict, but Kenya remained somewhat neutral as it allowed both government supporters and opposition figures to stay on its territory.

But following renewed violence in Juba in June 2016, which shattered a 2015 peace deal, Nairobi backtracked against South Sudanese opposition groups.

In November 2016, Kenya deported James Gatdet Dak, a spokesman for the main rebel group, the SudanPeople's Liberation Armyin Opposition (SPLA-IO) led by former vice president Riek Machar.

James Okuk, lecturer of political science at the University of Juba, said he remains skeptical about Kenya's interest in getting rid of South Sudanese opposition groups, alleging that Kenya still hosts several opposition figures.

"The statement is too vague and there is nothing much in it to change the current situation in South Sudan because opposition leaders continue to stay in Kenya without fear," Okuk said.

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