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Economy

Kenyan traders lose jobs, savings in S. Sudan turmoil

One of the Kenyans who were evacuated by the Kenya Defence Forces from South Sudan at Wilson Airport in Nairobi last month. FILE
One of the Kenyans who were evacuated by the Kenya Defence Forces from South Sudan at Wilson Airport in Nairobi last month. FILE 

The recent outbreak of war in South Sudan has put the dreams of thousands of Kenyans, forced to flee the country, in a freezer.

Official government statistics show that more than 20,000 Kenyan professionals and businesspeople have come home on forced and indefinite leave, suffering multi-million-shilling losses and pushing up the number of unemployed people in East Africa’s largest economy.

The majority of the returnees are young Kenyans who have invested in small and medium-sized businesses but have had to flee South Sudan since internal conflict broke out three weeks ago.

Many now fear that the mayhem that has characterised the sectarian conflict in the past three weeks could consume their investments.

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