Nairobi early Monday issued a stern warning to dissidents in SPLA of South Sudan for attempting to topple the Salva Kiir government in the capital Juba. Kenya is concerned by the events in its northern neighbor’s capital for strategic reasons.
Kenya’s concerns are legit and based on its very close ties with Salva Kiir’s administration. The United Nations and the United States warned Juba against anarchy and the slipping back to violence.
Kenya pointed out its commitment to help the government of South Sudan in whichever way. Nairobi will offer any type of help when called upon by its friend and neighbor South Sudan. Kenya played the key role in brokering peace besides the independence of Juba from Khartoum.
Intelligence Analysis Strategic Value of South Sudan to Nairobi
Thousands of Kenyans are living and working in South Sudan. Kenyan companies including banks and construction companies have heavily invested in South Sudan. Threats on the security of these Kenyans and companies can have catastrophic ramifications on both the economy and security.
The LAPSET project, a vital regional infrastructure integration agreement could be jeopardized by South Sudan conflict. The economic prospects of the oil pipeline through Kenya and subsequent bilateral trade agreements are of immense value and cannot be risked.
Nairobi is worried that the instability in Juba could affect efforts to bring peace in the north of Kenya where insecurity, ethnic conflict, and cattle rustling is rampant. The Toposa of South Sudan often cross to Kenya to graze their animals and often conflict with the Turkana.
Trade ties and the sociopolitical aspects of the two neighbors makes South Sudan a strategic partner. Kenyan military trainers in Juba training and building capacity in the SPLA also factor this strategic value of Juba to Nairobi.