South Sudan strongly denied the existence of a diplomatic crisis with its neighbour Ethiopia and refuted news stories about Juba hosting the Ethiopian opposition in coordination with Egypt in order to work against Addis Ababa, and called this rumour a big lie.
A statement issued by the spokesman for the South Sudanese President Ateny Wek Ateny strongly denied the existence of diplomatic disagreements between South Sudan and neighbouring Ethiopia, and stressed that what has been circulating on social networking sites about Juba accepting Egypt’s request to support and harbour Ethiopian rebels in South Sudan, during President Salva Kiir’s visit to Cairo recently, as “a lie and cheap propaganda”. He continued by saying that the rumours are aimed at driving a wedge between the two neighbouring countries and that “allegations that the Ethiopian government expelled diplomats from South Sudan is not true”. He also said that “President Salva Kiir’s visit to Egypt was to develop bilateral relations between the two countries and has nothing to do with the relationship between Ethiopia and Egypt”.
Ateny also explained that his country’s relations with Egypt are historic and that President Salva Kiir’s visit to Cairo was within the framework that permits every sovereign state to establish diplomatic relations with countries that have mutual interests. He added that “The issue of Ethiopian rebels and whatever cause they might be fighting for against the Ethiopian government has never crossed into President Kiir’s agenda with any political leader of any country before, even when Riek Machar was living in Addis Ababa”.