The reports emerged after South Sudanese President Salva Kirr visited Cairo for what South Sudan now says is just bilateral talks between the two countries.
Sudan Tribune reported yesterday that “South Sudan denies diplomatic row with Ethiopia.” The report quoted from what it says is press release from the office of the president of South Sudan: “The allegations that the Ethiopian Government has expelled our diplomats against the background of the recent President Kiir’s visit to Egypt are a pure lie and a very cheap propaganda aimed at driving the wedge between the two sisterly countries. President Kiir’s visit to Egypt was purely based on bilateral relations between Egypt and South Sudan. It has nothing to do with anything concerning Ethiopia’s relationship with Egypt.”
There were even claims that Ethiopia expelled South Sudanese Ambassador from Addis Ababa on alleged grounds that South Sudan agreed with Egypt,during Salva Kirr’s visit to Cairo, to provide Ethiopian rebels with support in the struggle against the government of Ethiopia. Numerous rebels groups are wagging guerrilla warfare against the government in Addis Ababa.
South Sudan,however, denies that it does not have intention to support any Ethiopian rebels.
“The issue of Ethiopian’s rebels and whatever cause they might be fighting against the Ethiopian government has never crossed into President Kiir’s agenda with any political leader of any country before, even at the time when the rebel Riek (Machar) was living in Addis Ababa”, adds president Salva kirr’s statement which is cited by ST.
It is to be recalled that Egypt was in a diplomatic campaign to win South Sudan on its side after many of the Nile riparian states opposed what then appeared like Egyptian militarist belligerent rhetoric against the construction of a dam over the Nile river, over 85 percent of the water volume emanates from Ethiopia. In fact, a few years ago, Egyptian Minister of Irrigation visited South Sudan following disagreement with Ethiopia over the grand dam project. Shortly after that, Egyptian spies were captured in the parts of Ethiopia bordering South Sudan.
Ethiopia accuses Egypt of supporting Ethiopian opposition. In October 2016, Egyptian ambassador was called to the ministry of foreign affairs office in Addis Ababa to answer concerns over Egyptian support to opposition.
Under colonel Mengistu Hailemariam government, Ethiopia supported South Sudanese struggle for liberation from Sudan.
Written by Dimetros Birku. Could be reached on twitter : @dimetros