JUBA – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has formally acknowledged the Kenyan government’s apology over an incident in which an activist openly criticized the president during a television show.
While appearing on Kenya Television Network (KTN) last week, South Sudanese activist Peter Biar Ajak said Kiir failed to address mourners at the late Kenyan leader Mwai Kibaki’s funeral occasion due to “a hangover”.
Kiir was among the leaders invited for the funeral of Kenya’s third president.
The activist’s remarks against Kiir caused a diplomatic row between the two countries after South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation handed over a protest letter to the Kenyan envoy in Juba.
KTN, in a May 10 letter, apologized to President Kiir for what it described as “inaccurate and unfortunate remarks about him on the television”
However, the Kenyan government through its special envoy to South Sudan Kalonzo Musyoka, “expressed a dismay at the negative portrayal of the presence of president Salva Kiir at the state funeral service and expressed at least the media has issued an apology to his excellency president Salva Kiir Mayardit and the people of South Sudan for the unethical behavior”.
Musyoka explained that President Salva Kiir is the leader of a sovereign nation and “does not represent himself, but the people of South Sudan”.
Meanwhile President Kiir lauded the steps and measures taken by the Kenyan government and assured that what was done by the Kenyan media would not affect the relations between the two countries.
Kiir and Musyoka also discussed the progress made in the implementation of the September 2018 peace accord and the political situation in Kenya.
South Sudan is a strategic partner of Kenya in many areas. Both countries have cultural similarities as South Sudanese lived in Kenya before independence.