Tuesday March 13, 2018
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry has met South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to discuss Juba’s request to join the Cairo-based Arab League, according to a foreign ministry statement.
The meeting comes in the wake of a brief Africa tour by Shukry, during which he met Kiir in the South Sudanese capital on Monday. .
Regional issues According to the ministry statement, the two men also discussed means of enhancing South Sudan-Egypt relations and “regional issues of common concern”, including ongoing negotiations over Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam project.
Monday’s meeting also reportedly saw an agreement signed establishing a “mechanism for political consultation” between Cairo and Juba, while Shukry also conveyed a message to Kiir – the contents of which were not disclosed – from the Egyptian president.
Since 2013, South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan following a 2011 popular referendum, has remained the scene of a bloody civil war pitting government forces against armed opposition groups.
A split between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar escalated into a military conflict in December 2013.
Despite a 2015 peace deal signed between the two sides, the conflict – in which some 10,000 people are estimated to have been killed – remains ongoing.