Ambassador to Kenya Comrade Michael Majok[©Gurtong]
By Job Mainye
NAIROBI, 27th July, 2011 [Gurtong] - The Republic of South Sudan has inaugurated its embassy in Kenya awarded number 121CD in a colourful ceremony at the new embassy premises at Bishopgate building along Ngong Avenue in Nairobi. The new Ambassador to Kenya is Comrade Michael Majok Ayom Dor.
Flag Hoisting Session
At arrival, guests sung the South Sudanese national anthem and paid tribute to all heroes and heroines as South Sudan Ambassador to Zimbabwe Hon. John Luate (designate) also the Master of Ceremony thanked all the guests for joining South Sudan in gracing the day.
After prayers by Rev. David Chol, Boy and Girl Scouts hoisted the Republic of South Sudan flag with the help of the embassy officials while members of the diplomatic community, South Sudanese communities in Kenya and friends witnessed. Ululations and songs of joy from women groups waving mini South Sudanese flags in jubilation were echoed.
Among the key dignitaries who graced the occasion was the Kenyan Government representative -Ambassador John Lanyatunya of the Kenya Foreign Affairs Ministry who was the Chief Guest; US Ambassador to Kenya (U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan) General Scott Gration; Sudan Ambassador to Kenya H.E Kamal Ismail Saeed, Ambassador Bethwel Kiplagat of Kenya, South Sudan Ambassador (designate) to Zimbabwe Hon. John Luate who was also the Master of Ceremony; Hon. Edward Lino (Former Abyei Administrator); ROSS Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Hon. James Kok; Mr. Gabriel Ador - The Commissioner of Land in South Sudan; Mr. Paul Gitahi CEO Equity Bank in South Sudan; Miss Victoria Otieno of CfC Stanbic Bank among other members of the diplomatic communities representing different countries.
Ambassador Michael Majok
In his speech yesterday, United States Ambassador to Kenya General Scott Gration, read sections the South Sudanese National Anthem as he relayed his message to the people of South Sudan. “Oh God, We praise and glorify You for Your grace on South Sudan, Land of great abundance uphold us united in peace and harmony,” he read as he wished them peace and harmony. General Scott Gration reiterated the efforts his county played in seeing that South Sudan had a lasting peace and political solutions with Sudan.
The Sudanese Ambassador to Kenya H.E Kamal Ismail Saeed assured the people of South Sudan that his county would work hard to settle any standing differences that would hinder her well being and was ready to support the new nation. “I hope my being here is not a surprise to many of you, I am very glad to be here and I can assure you we will continue to be brothers and sisters with South Sudan,” Kamal said and added that, “what unites us is more important than what divides us.”
South Sudanese in Kenya joyous
The South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya, Comrade Michael Majok Ayom Dor recognised the contributions of the US, UN, AU and IGAD forum partners particularly the Republic of Kenya who mediated the Sudanese peace process through Gen. (Rtd) Lazarus Sumbeiywo who was the chief mediator. “Today’s event comes at the heels of the flag hoisting done at the United Nations offices in New York which placed our beloved country among sovereign and independent nation States in the world,” Ambassador Majok remarked.
“The opening of the embassy in Nairobi and the transition from Liaison Office to a fully embassy is part of the recognition of the key role played by the Kenyan people and government,” he continued.
Ambassador Majok assured that the Embassy will stive to facilitate closer cooperation and friendship between them. South Sudan shall work to support the regional and international private sector to invest in South Sudan’s different sectors of the economy.
Scouts saluting VIPs during flag hoisting
He also acknowledged the support from various public and private institutions that sponsored the occasion. “We would like to convey our sincere gratitude to CFC Stanbic Bank, Equity Bank, Dalbit among others, we will continue to look up for your support as we build this young nation,” Majok appreciated.
Ambassador John Lanyatunya of the Kenya Foreign Affairs Ministry who was the Chief Guest assured the new Embassy that Kenya shall strengthen her diplomatic ties and investment in the new nation. “Kenya’s private sector will work to transfer technical knowhow knowledge in order to boost your economy and the Government of Kenya shall continue to play its role of being guarantors of the CPA’s critical areas to see to it that they are well implemented peacefully,” Ambassador Lanyatunya assured.
The Republic of South Sudan Caretaker Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Hon. James Kok was happy that now more than ever he was a full citizen of a nation recognised worldwide. The Minister happily and boldly said while raising his new South Sudan Passport, “This is what we were missing; now I have mine, the new passport of the Republic of South Sudan!”
The minister gave a historic perspective of how the people of Kenya have being of great support to South Sudanese. He reiterated that among the East African countries neighbouring Kenya and sub-Sahara Africa, Kenya is blessed with peace while her neighbours were always at war and sparring peace negotiations. “South Sudanese children will struggle to write the name of Gen. (Rtd) Lazarus Sumbeiywo in their history lessons... this is how this country will never be forgotten in our hearts as South Sudanese,” he stressed.
Kenya has been a close partner and home to most South Sudanese refugees from various communities during the 2 decades of civil war as most speakers highlighted in their speeches. Nearly all the peace treaties were signed here in Kenya including the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 that facilitated South Sudan’s Independence.