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Four Kenyans injured in South Sudan clashes

Four Kenyans are among hundreds of people injured following fighting in South Sudan due to Sunday’s coup attempt.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the four, who have since been discharged from hospital, were caught up the fight South Sudan.

“There were no critical injuries (on side of Kenya),” Ms Mohamed told journalists at during a conference at Harambee House in Nairobi Wednesday.
Ms Mohamed said three of the injured Kenyans were Wednesday on their way back to the country, through Kampala, Uganda.

The other injured Kenyan, Ms Mohamed said, was still in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

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Accompanied by Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, Ms Mohamed said calm was slowly returning to Juba where fighting erupted on Sunday night following a coup attempt on President Salva Kiir’s government.

She put the number of those killed in the fight at between 200 and 400, but added that the numbers could be more.

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As a result, Juba International Airport was re-opened Wednesday to allow evacuation of thousands of foreigners who wanted to leave the country, which gained independence two years ago.

Ms Mohamed said two buses carrying Kenyans leaving South Sudan left for Kampala Wednesday.

Thirteen other buses carrying Ugandans, Kenyans and other nationals had also crossed the Ugandan border heading to Kampala.

“The Kenyan ambassador in Uganda will receive the Kenyans in Kampala and facilitate their return to the country,” Ms Mohamed said.

She put the number of Kenyans in South Sudan at 25,000 although previous reports indicated there were more than 70,000.

She said the Kenyans affected by the fighting had been camping at UN compound in Juba, the Kenyan embassy and bus stops from Monday.

The CS said three 540 flights flew passengers from Juba to Nairobi Wednesday. The other airlines that left Juba were Uganda Airways and a Rwandan airline, Ms Mohamed said.

She hoped national carrier Kenya Airways would also resume flights to Juba.

Ms Mohamed named Juba and Bor in Jonglei states as areas where most Kenyans were affected by fighting between forces loyal to President Kiir and rebels said to supporters of former Vice-President Riek Machar.

She said there were 57 Kenyans in UN camp in Bor and that the government was working with the international body to ensure their safe return to the country.

The CS said the government was evacuating Kenyans who wanted to come back to the country for Christmas as others might not want to come but continue with their business as situation in South Sudan improves.

“We will only bring home Kenyans who want to come back. We will make sure they are safe,” Ms Mohamed said.

She said President Uhuru Kenyatta and other Inter-Governmental Authority on Development leaders were discussing political solution to the war in South Sudan, which is the world’s newest nation.

The CS further denied reports that Dr Machar had taken refuge at the Kenyan embassy in Juba saying Kenya fully supports President Kiir’s government.

She said Dr Kiir who fell out with President Kiir before being sacked in July is not in Juba and that he could be in Jonglei

A handout photo released by the UNMISS shows people boarding a bus as they seek refuge in the UNMISS compound in Juba, on December 18, 2013. Four Kenyans are among hundreds of people injured following fighting in South Sudan due to Sunday’s coup attempt. AFP PHOTO / UNMISS / Rolla Hinedi

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