By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
January 17, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) – A South Sudanese diplomat has downplayed recent rumours that the young nation allegedly struck a deal with an undisclosed party against Ethiopia.
- Ethiopian Prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, receives S South FVP at his office in Addis Ababa on 9 September 2016 (ENA Photo)
South Sudan’s ambassador to Ethiopia, James Pita Morga, said his country cannot enter into a deal likely to harm Ethiopia’s interest with a third party.
Morga, in an interview with the state-run Ethiopia Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), dismissed the alleged report as fabricated.
Since South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir paid visit to Egypt few days ago, lots of reports circulated on social media, alleging that the two leaders had agreed to sabotage a controversial Ethiopian massive dam project that is being built in Nile River which Cairo fears would eventually diminish its historic water share.
Kiir’s recent visit to Cairo came weeks after Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met Kiir’s close ally and Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni in Kampala.
Unconfirmed reports from opposition group led by former Vice President, Riek Machar, alleged that the latest meeting between Kiir and Al-sisi was allegedly part of a "dirty deal" between the two leaders intended to harm Ethiopia.
But the South Sudan official said Kiir’s visit was "a usual, bilateral and friendly visit".
The ambassador further refuted as untrue reports that his country would no longer accept the deployment of additional United Nations peacekeepers.
In August last year, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution approving the deployment of an additional 4,000 peacekeepers to its South Sudan mission (UNMISS).
The Security Council passed the resolution in response to concerns about fighting in the capital, Juba, obstruction of UNMISS and other humanitarian actors by the South Sudanese Transitional Government of National Unity, and failure of the warring parties to implement a UN-brokered peace agreement.
The authorisation of an additional 4,000 troops is intended to supplement UNMISS’s existing strength, increasing the total force to 17,000 peacekeepers.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn was recently quoted saying there were Egyptian institutions harbouring, supporting as well as funding terrorist groups in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has repeatedly accused Eritrea of allegedly supporting its opposition groups.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister said that the support of the Egyptian institutions would impact on relations between both countries as it targets Ethiopia’s stability.
Addis Ababa has, however, requested Egyptian authorities to respond to the matter.