Ethiopia, Eritrea leaders in South Sudan for working visit

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki are in South Sudan on an official visit.

The two departed from Asmara International Airport on Monday morning and have arrived in Juba to bolster existing ties between their countries. Abiy had visited Asmara on Sunday along with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta.

Office of the Prime Minister said the discussions were to be centered on regional peace, economic ties and infrastructure development.

“In addition they will also be addressing issues of developing joint capacities and working together in an integrated manner,” the office said in a social media post.

South Sudan president Salva Kiir who was on a tour of one of the country’s northwestern Bahr el Ghazal state cut short his trip to meet with the visiting leaders.

Some engagements slated for the trio include a tripartite meeting in the morning. A joint press statement is expected to be issued. Abiy and Afwerki will depart later in the day.

Ethiopia has traditionally played a key role in seeking to return South Sudan to peace after a protracted civil war ravaged Africa’s youngest nation.

Addis Ababa hosted the peace deal between government and rebel factions under the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD. Ethiopia also hosts a substantial amount of refugees fleeing instability in South Sudan.

Eritrea on its part has promised to support South Sudan in its nation building effort. Kiir visited Eritrea last year on invitation of President Afwerki.