Authorities in Kapoeta East County are calling on the government of Turkana County in Kenya to trace and recover two children abducted in Narus Payam last week.
The incident reportedly happened on Saturday morning when three boys were herding goats. One managed to escape from the abductors and two are missing.
Kapoeta East County Commissioner Abdallah Lokeno alleged that the abductors are from the Turkana community.
“We want the leadership of Turkana to return the children,” he said.
Two weeks ago, a cross-border meeting on peace between the Toposa of South Sudan and Turkana of Kenya was held in Nadapal border town.
The conference brought together the Toposa and Turkana to resolve their longstanding conflicts, and explore ways of sharing resources along the border. This include access to grazing areas and waterpoints.
“The issue we discussed last time in Nadapal and agreed that no child abduction to take place anymore. So the big issue is Turkana now who break the agreement which was agreed upon at Nadapal,” Commissioner Lokeno said.
The Paramount Chief of Turkana in Lokichogio said they are searching for the children.
“I was in the village looking for the abducted children. I suggest that the youth should go and follow the footsteps of the abductors to find out whether the child are alive or dead. We as elders are angered by this act. When we find the children, we shall bring them back,” Sultan Juilus Elete Lolim said.
Leaders from the greater Kapoeta and Turkana have continually called for cross-border cooperation and development as means to end decades of conflicts between the two communities of South Sudan and Kenya.
Eastern Equatoria state Governor Louis Lobong blamed persistent conflicts for the absence of health facilities, schools and joint business ventures between the two bordering communities.
In 2019, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda agreed to strengthen good neighbourliness, cooperation and promote peaceful co-existence amongst their citizens.
The tripartite partnership recognised within the frameworks of both the East African Community and the African Union seeks to emphasise the importance of deepening regional integration, facilitating the development of cross border cooperation while promoting peace, security and stability between the three countries.