Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia – 24th November 2023 (Governor’s Press Service)
Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai led a Kenyan delegation to the inauguration of the newly formed South Ethiopia Regional State. The delegation was received by President Tihalun Kibede, Head of the 12th State in Ethiopia’s federal system of governance, formed following a referendum and approval by its parliament in July.
In his address, Governor Lomorukai congratulated President Kibede and the citizens of the State, highlighting the parallels between the inauguration and the establishment of Turkana as a county under Kenya’s devolved system in 2012.
“The echo of that transformative moment is reflected here today, connecting us in solidarity with the birth of the South Ethiopia Regional State. It is a testament to the power of decentralization and the empowerment of local communities to shape their destinies,” he said.
Governor Lomorukai emphasized the potential for improved service delivery and accelerated development under the new state. He also acknowledged the longstanding partnership between Turkana County and the South Omo Zone and lauded joint efforts in cross-border peace and development.
“The Turkana community shares ancestral ties with communities in the region under the Ateker cluster, including the Nyang’atom of Ethiopia. This shared heritage makes us not just neighbors but brothers, and we are committed to nurturing peaceful coexistence and fostering cross-border trade for the mutual development of our region,” he stated.
Governor Louis Lobong Lojore of Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan, commended the historical support South Sudan had received since independence from Ethiopia and rallied the region to work together to build the economy of the cross-border region.
President Kebede thanked the delegations for gracing the inauguration and pledged to join other federal states in the country to extend the peaceful coexistence into economic development.
“Your presence today is an expression of commitment and sincere love shown to the great people of the Ateker cluster,” he said.
The Kenyan delegation included MCAs led by Leader of Majority Stephen Edukon and Leader of Minority Samuel Lomodo.
Senior County Government officials accompanying the Governor included County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Executive for Trade David Erukudi, Chief Officer for the Office of the Governor Paul Lodung’a, and Chief of Staff Peter Yoromoe.
Others are Advisors Malachy Ekal (Political), Ekiru Tulele (Legal), and Amb. Richard Ekai (Economic); Directors Geoffrey Apedor (Peace), James Lokwale (Trade) and Dr Benson Long’or (Veterinary Services).

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