Nov 30, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Responding to allegations that the South Sudanese officials in Addis Ababa have been expelled in a diplomatic row by the Ethiopian government, the Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan, which doubles as the country’s Permanent Mission to the African Union, IGAD and the UNECA in Addis Ababa, bashed off the tabloid reports as “false”.
“The Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan, Permanent Mission to the African Union, IGAD and the UNECA in Addis Ababa presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic, the Commission of the African Union, United Nations, Economic Commission for Africa, IGAD Secretariat and all Diplomatic and Consular Mission accredited to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and has the honour to inform that the rumours circulating in the Social Media that the Ethiopia Federal Authorities have given the Diplomats in the Embassy 72 hours to leave the country is false” Read part of the statement.
According to a “Note Verbal” extended to Nyamilepedia by the Embassy, the South Sudanese embassy and the Mission is carrying out its functions in its full capacity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“The Embassy and the Mission is carrying out its functions in its full capacity as there is no reason that warrants such explosion” The embassy statement continued.
Responding to the same reports in Juba, the deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Deng Dau, reiterated that the rumours are just fictions and disinformations.
“We cannot react to rumours, fiction, and disinformation. Our ambassador is in Addis and is this morning attending a diplomatic briefing with the rest of his colleagues in the office of the Prime Minister in Addis Ababa,” Deng Dau said in an interview with a local radio station.
Hon. Deng Dau further clarified that “the chargé d’affaires of the Ethiopian embassy is here. He has not been recalled, he has not been sent back and so these are just rumours.”
Responding to the same reports, the Ethiopian Embassy in South Sudan said the Ethiopian ambassador to South Sudan returned to Addis Ababa but three weeks ago for medical treatment and he will return to Juba any time when he recovers.
“Ambassador Terefi went to Ethiopia 3 weeks ago for medical treatment and will be back soon. We have also confirmed that the South Sudanese Ambassador or any other diplomat is not expelled from Ethiopia,” the Ethiopian Embassy in Juba said on their Twitter handle.
The report surfaced on Sunday following a one day visit of the Egyptian President, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was cordially received by the South Sudanese leader, President Salva Kiir.
El-Sisis also met the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and other officials during his stay in Juba, and discussed numerous bilateral relations on education, health, economy, transport, river Nile, GERD and regional security.
The long-awaited visit of the Egyptian president came at a time Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are in a political row over the Grant Ethiopian Resseinance Dam and overall management of the Nile water resources – a crisis Egypt treats as an “existential threats” to their country and people.
Ethiopia is also in political crises as the Federal Government is battling the Tigray People Liberation Front in the furthest north, a conflict that involves Eritrea and has displaced over 40, 000 Ethiopians into neighboring Sudan.
Sudan, which leans on the Egyptian side, has pulled out of talks over the Grant Ethiopian Resseinance Dam and pledged not to negotiate any further until a neutral mediator is availed by the African Union.
Adding to the tension in the region, a diplomatic row between Ethiopia and South Sudan would leave Ethiopia on a bubble; however, South Sudan is hooked to Egypt, Sudan and Uganda, and there is very little the Ethiopian government can do to revitalize its foreign relations in the region while fighting an internal insurgency.