Eighty wildlife officers from the Republic of South Sudan (ROSS) will for the next three months be trained in Kenya in various courses related to wildlife protection and management.
The officers are divided into groups of fourty each; one being trained at Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) on Wildlife Management and Biodiversity Conservation and the other at Manyani Field Training School (MFTS) on anti-poaching and security operations.
The Sh18 million Kenyan government-sponsored training courses is part of an on-going training and capacity building programme between the Governments of Kenya and South Sudan that started in 2005 after signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Speaking while opening the wildlife training course at KWSTI, KWS Director, Julius Kipng’etich, stressed the need for the officers to save and protect their country’s wildlife.
“Tourism, through wildlife, is going to be a key cornerstone in the development of South Sudan,” Kipng’etich told the officers.
He reiterated KWS’s support to the Republic of South Sudan in their wildlife conservation and management efforts.
Mr Kipng’etich added that in addition to training the ROSS wildlife officers, KWS will engage in staff exchange programmes where officers from South Sudan will be attached to Kenya’s National Parks to enhance their experience of day-to-day park management and operations.
The 80 wildlife officers are representatives of nine states in the ROSS, with majority of them having previously served in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Out of the 80, five of them are women. However, the Director of Training at the Ministry of Wildlife Conversation and Tourism in the Republic of South Sudan, Mr. Malik Doka, promised the number of female officers will increase in future training programmes.
The Republic of South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011 as a result of a 2005 peace deal that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war. An overwhelming majority of South Sudanese voted in a January 2011 referendum to secede and become Africa’s latest nation since Eritrea split from Ethiopia in 1993. It is a United Nations member state, a member state of the African Union and a member state of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.