Is South Sudan fitting of Egypt against Ethiopia paying off?
September 08, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan government, which has had a controversial role in Ethiopia-Egyptian bilateral relationship for the last few years, seems to be reaping good returns as the two rivaling nations seem to be competing over South Sudan.
While South Sudan is putting Ethiopia on her toes to begin constructing roads projects in South Sudan, the Egyptians are already in the country delivering projects that range from building military bases and training the South Sudanese army to delivering humanitarian assistance and promising to develop agricultural sector, among others.
Today, as South Sudan receives the former President of Ethiopia, H.E. Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, to discuss road projects with South Sudan president, Salva Kiir, the Egyptian consignments were being offloaded at South Sudan’s Juba International Airport.
“A consignment of drugs donated by Egyptian Government as part of Egypt’s suppport to flood affected population in Jonglei State accompanied by Minister of water resources of Egypt was today received at Juba International Airport” Read part of a statement from the office of Jonglei State governor.
“Ambassador of Egypt to South Sudan, Minister of water resources of South Sudan, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hon. Joshau Konyi, Chief Administrator of Greater Pibor Administrative Area and Honorable Denay, Jonglei State Governor attended the reception.” The statement continued.
South Sudanese politicians appreciate the good gesture from the Egyptians for coming to their rescue at a time of need.
“The cargoes that includes drugs, assorted food and none food items for Jonglei and Greater Pibor arrived this afternoon from Egypt. Meanwhile, Governor Chagor appreciated the donations from the Egyptian people to people of South Sudan.” The statement continued.
While the Egyptians’ consignments were accompanied by the Minister of Water Resources of Egypt, South Sudan has invited the Ethiopians’ Minister of Road for further discussions on the road projects that will connect Ethiopia to at least four States of South Sudan.
Given South Sudan’s boiling economic status, Ethiopia will most likely fetch the bills for construction of the roads projects and get very little back in return should the Egyptians maintain their good military ties and cooperate agreements with South Sudan.
While Egyptians have special interest in securing a military presence in South Sudan to assert her influence in Eastern Africa, Ethiopia, which has served the role of an elderly brother to South Sudan during the South Sudanese liberation struggles, has very little advantage in over investing in South Sudan.
During the Anyanya and SPLM/A movements, Ethiopia stood for South Sudan more than the neighboring countries but today Ethiopia is facing a sharp competition from Uganda, Sudan and Kenya, which put the Ethiopians at a disadvantaged compared to the Egyptians who are pumping in humanitarian assistance and military supports unless the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia steps up her game.
Unlike the Egyptian cooperate agreements that were signed between 2014 and 2019 and are being implemented, the Ethiopia-South Sudan cooperate agreements were signed in 2008 and very little has been implemented so far.
It remains to be seen how these countries will continue to maintain these bilateral relationships but South Sudan is a country in a civil war that desperately needs support from countries like Ethiopia and Egypt to establish herself.