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Kenya Summoned GOSS Liaison Officer to Nairobi Over Fuel Station Demolitions

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GOSS Head of Mission to Kenya summoned over threat of demolition of
business premises

By Jervasio O.Okot
Nairobi, Friday, February 27th 2009

On Friday, February 27th 2009, at 5.15pm the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign
Affairs  requested  the  Head  of Mission of the Government of Southern
Sudan  (GOSS) Liaison office to Kenya to appear in an emergency meeting
to  explain  the  reason for which some of the petrol stations owned by
Kenyan traders in Juba have been threatened for demolition.

The  meeting  which  was  convened  by Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon
Moses Wetangula in his office was attended by some of the Petrol owners
which  comprised  of  Chairman  of  Arid Regions Integrated Development
Agency  Mr.  Issak  Sheikh Gabow, Ibrahim IK Mohammed and Bashir Malaw.
The  businesses  whose documents were the subjects of discussion before
the  minister  for  foreign affairs were: Bross Petrol, City Gas Petrol
Ltd,  T.  T Petrol Station Juba and Tiba Oil Co Ltd.  Ibrahim and Malaw
are from Bross Petrol.

These traders launched complain through the ministry of Foreign Affairs
for  intervention  and urged Kenyan government to discuss this with the
Government  of  Southern  Sudan  (GOSS)  in  order  to  arrest possible
demolition of their business premises in Juba.

The issues of concern which were brought during this meeting were:

·         Request  for ample time from the Government of Southern
Sudan (GOSS) for relocation of these petrol stations
·         Allocation  of new sites to these petrol dealers by the
·        Compensation of loses incurred to petrol owners

Minister for Foreign Affairs explained that Kenya and South Sudan enjoy
cooperation  agreement  in  many  areas  of  mutual  interests  and are
sisterly  countries.  He  said  one of which is where Southern Sudanese
students pay local fees in all Kenyan institutions of higher learning.

He told Ambassador John that his office was flooded with complains from
various  business paternities of Kenyan nationals conducting businesses
in  Southern  Sudan  on  issues  of  harassments and intimidations. The
minister  acknowledged  the fruitful meeting held with the Minister for
Regional Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin who, he said was
equally  concern  on  the  fate  of Kenyan traders in Juba. He said the
meeting  addressed  issues  of concern and will continue interacting on
this matter.

He  said  a  country  which  has  just  emerged  from a long war has an
obligation  to plan its towns and cities as such avoid any danger posed
to  its  inhabitants. The mistier said that the GOSS was concern on the
security  of its citizens and would like to ensure that Petrol Stations
built  in  the residential areas must be relocated to certain locations
where civil populations are not vulnerable to dangers.

The minister said that GOSS should,

·        Identify alternative sites to these Kenyan oil dealers,
·        Give them ample time for relocation,
·        Compensate loses and damages to these petrol dealers,
·         Kenyan  consulate  in  Juba  to  follow  the  issues of

He  said  his  office  will  dispatch  a letter to the GOSS through the
Ministry  for  Regional Cooperation to ensure that the matter is put to
rest.  Hon Minister Moses Watengula also said he would like to directly
raise  this to the President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS)
H.E. 1st Lt General Salva Kiir Mayardit for his highest intervention.

The  Head  of Mission of GOSS Liaison office to Kenya John Andruga Duku
who  had  just  arrived  from  Juba  came  straight to this meeting. He
explained  that while in Juba, he was able to enquire the rationale for
the  allocation of Petrol facilities which were adjacent to residential
areas.  He  said  most  of  them were privately owned during which land
owners  leased  their  lands  to traders. This enabled them register as
local  companies  with  an  approval  from  the ministry of commerce to
import.  Ambassador  Duku  reminded  that  county commissioners have no
jurisdiction to issue licences to business people.

He  said  the  issue  of  these  petrol stations had brought concern to
parliament  who  wanted  to  impeach  the  ministers  in the ministries
concern  for  negligent in allocations of business land. The parliament
decided  that the petrol stations be relocated to the new sites because
of  posing  danger to the inhabitants of the area. Ambassador Duku told
the minister that marks were put on the petrol stations in October 2008
as  a  signal  for  relocation but the oil traders did not heed to this
warning.  He  said  despite of this warning, one petrol station in Juba
was  still filling fuel which was due to be demolished on January 2009.
The  demolition was extended to February 26th 2009 and another fuel was

He  said  the demolition exercise was not only targeting Kenyans. There
were  some  demolitions  carried  out previously in Juba but the people
affected   were   all  business  people  from  different  nationalities
including Sudanese. He said the concern from the Kenyan government will
be communicated back to Juba.

One of the traders said he invested Fifteen Million shillings (Shs 15M)
in  four  petrol  stations.  He  said it will be a disaster because the
money was a loan from a Kenyan bank which he is paying.

Mr.  Issak  Sheikh  Gabow  was impressed on the briefing by his foreign
minister.  He  said  it  was  a sign of concern from Hon Minister Moses
Wetangula  to  have invited the Head of Mission of the GOSS to Kenya to
come  and  listen  and  shade  more light to this matter for an onwards
transmission  to  his  government  in Juba. Mr. Issak said he was aware
that  Kenya and Southern Sudan was one country. He said Kenyans in Juba
follow  the  law for entrenchment of businesses. He said they were able
to   get   approval   from   the  land  commission,  local  government,
commissioners  of the town, legal affairs and ministry for commerce and
trade.  He  said  there was no single step left during this venture. He
displayed  some  documents  to  justify  his  claim.  The  Hon Minister
Wetangula  had  to  go  through the documents and identified some legal
procedures followed by the traders.

The  meeting ended fruitful awaiting an official communication from the
Kenyan  ministry  for  Foreign Affairs to the GOSS through the Ministry
for Regional Cooperation.


Written by torit1955

March 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

Posted in Business

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