Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently made a trip to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, for bilateral talks with President Salva Kiir. The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues including regional security, economic development, and the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Abiy’s visit to Juba came at a critical time for both Ethiopia and South Sudan. Ethiopia is currently grappling with a complex crisis in the Tigray region, where a conflict between the government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has led to widespread violence and displacement. South Sudan, on the other hand, is still recovering from a brutal civil war that lasted for more than five years and left tens of thousands of people dead.
During their talks, Abiy and Kiir discussed the need for regional stability and security, particularly in the context of the ongoing conflict in Tigray. Both leaders agreed that a peaceful resolution to the conflict is essential for Ethiopia’s stability and the wider region. They also discussed the need for closer cooperation between Ethiopia and South Sudan on security matters, including the fight against terrorism and cross-border crime.
Economic development was another key topic of discussion during Abiy’s visit to Juba. Ethiopia and South Sudan share a long border and have strong economic ties, particularly in the areas of trade and agriculture. Abiy and Kiir discussed ways to deepen economic cooperation between the two countries, including the development of infrastructure projects and the expansion of trade ties.
The conflict in Tigray also featured prominently in Abiy’s discussions with Kiir. Abiy provided an update on the situation in Tigray and thanked Kiir for his efforts to facilitate talks between the Ethiopian government and TPLF leaders. Abiy reiterated his commitment to finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict and restoring stability to the region.
Overall, Abiy’s visit to Juba was a positive development for both Ethiopia and South Sudan. The talks between Abiy and Kiir demonstrated a commitment to closer cooperation and dialogue between the two countries. The discussions on regional security, economic development, and the conflict in Tigray were important steps towards building a more stable and prosperous region.
However, it is worth noting that the conflict in Tigray remains a complex and ongoing crisis. While Abiy’s visit to Juba was a positive development, much work remains to be done to resolve the conflict and address the humanitarian crisis in the region. It is crucial that all parties continue to engage in constructive dialogue and work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict.