South Sudan seeks to strengthen ties with Zimbabwe

2015-05-06 14:45

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Cape Town – South Sudan has reportedly expressed its desire for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to attend its fifth independence celebrations in July, as the two countries seek to strengthen bilateral relations.

The State-owned Herald newspaper said on Wednesday that a special envoy from South Sudan had been sent with a letter from President Salva Kiir to Mugabe.

The envoy, Awan Guol Riak - who is also South Sudan’s minister in the office of the president - briefed Mugabe on the country's peace process.

Riak also expressed his country's gratitude for the assistance it received from Zimbabwe.

Political and financial backing

Zimbabwe has been sending police officers under the ambit of the United Nations to provide security in the east African country, the report said.

This comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry this week said that South Sudan's government and rebels had failed to make compromises needed to end a civil conflict and that this was putting the future of the world's youngest nation at "grave risk".

South Sudan split from Sudan to become an independent nation in 2011, helped by the political and financial backing of the United States and other Western powers.

But a political crisis between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, who he sacked as his deputy in 2013, erupted into a conflict in December of that year. Fighting has rumbled on since then, with both sides ignoring repeated agreements to stop, according to a Reuters report.

Read more on:    salva kiir  |  robert mugabe  |  riek machar  |  zimbabwe  |  south sudan  |  east africa  |  southern africa

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