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Bodies of Kenyans killed in South Sudan arrive at JKIA

There were emotional scenes at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Saturday as relatives and friends welcomed the bodies of Kenyan aid workers killed in South Sudan.

The employees of Grassroots Empowerment and Development Organisation(Gredo), a non-governmental organization funded by Unicef, were killed in an ambush last Saturday while traveling from from Juba to Pibor, a town in the Eastern part of South Sudan last month.

Nairobi News could not establish the number of bodies carried in the 2.30pm flight, but in total four Kenyans were killed in the attack.

According to a South Sudanese government dispatch, the four Kenyans were among six aid workers killed as they travelled to their base in Pibor, a town 340 kilometres northeast of the capital Juba, near the border with Ethiopia.


Ann Nyokabi Karanja. whose cousin Mr David Mbugua was among the deceased, claimed that three bodies were flown in.

Ms Nyokabi said that she was living with her cousing in Southern Sudan and he was to join her in Kenya in December.

She said that last Saturday he had called the family and told them that he would be flying but they later learned they were to travel by the road.

“He came in December and told us he is going back to Sudan as he got a job with a certain NGO called Gedo. He called us on Saturday and said they were flying, but later we understand they went on road and were ambushed,” narrated Ms Nyokabi.

Ms Nyokabi said that the vehicle they were travelling in had ten people on board who were all killed.

She added that her cousin had lived in Southern Sudan for nine years.


Kimani Mbugua lost his brother Samson Mbugua Chege who was contracted by the NGO to teach English.


On Monday the family got a call from the NGO to confirm that he was among the four who had died.

The two families said that both the national government and Southern Sudan Government have been mum on the death of their kin, telling them to instead deal with the organization.

“So far no help has come from the governments. We tried to reach the ministry and they told us to deal with the organization,”said Mr Kimani.