By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
January 28, 2007 (ADDIS ABABA) - South Sudan President, Salva Kiir is in the Ethiopian for the 28th Africa Union (AU) head of states and government summit.
- Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (L) greets the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa on January 5, 2013 - (AFP Photo)
Kiir, upon arrival at Addis Ababa’s Bole international Airport along with his delegation on Sunday, was received by several senior government officials.
Pre-summit consultative sessions and dialogues had been on going by African and world delegates since earlier this month.
But the AU head of state and governments summit commences on 30 January under the theme, "Harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in the youth"
On the sideline of the two-day continental assembly, the South Sudanese leader is expected to meet Ethiopian prime minister and also IGAD chairperson, Hailemariam Desalegn, to discuss on bilateral and regional concerns.
An Ethiopian political analyst told Sudan Tribune that the two leaders could also discuss recent rumours that Kiir signed a "dirty deal" with Egypt during his recent visit to Cairo which reportedly sparked diplomatic row between Addis Ababa and Juba
According to some middle eastern news outlets, Kiir had agreed for "Egypt-backed" Ethiopian rebels to operate in South Sudan soil to launch attacks and thereby sabotage Ethiopia’s massive Nile dam project from being completed.
Egypt fears Ethiopia’s over $ 4 billion dam project would eventually diminish its historic water rights.
Among other world dignities attending the AU summit is the newly elected United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, who will open Monday’s session on ways of bolstering partnership between AU and UN on mutual benefits and respect.
Guterress, the UN said in a statement, will also deliberate with the AU on issues bordering the UN sustainable development goals and agenda 2063 for the continent.
The new UN chief will also meet a number of African leaders at the summit sidelines.