A diplomatic row has broken out between South Sudan and neighbouring Ethiopia following rumours on social media that President Salva Kiir accepted to allow Ethiopian rebels to open their office in the capital Juba.
“Rumours have been circulating on social media that when President Kiir visited Egypt, he discussed important issues with the Egyptian officials so that Ethiopian rebels can open an office in Juba, “a senior government official who preferred anonymity told Radio Tamazuj today.
“The rumours circulated that the President has accepted to allow the Ethiopian rebels to open their office in Juba and Egypt will support the Ethiopian rebels with guns, because Egypt is having differences with Ethiopia over the issue of Renaissance Dam, so this is what happened on social media,” he added.
The official accused the SPLM-IO faction allied to former First Vice President Riek Machar of circulating the rumour in neighbouring Ethiopia.”The rebels now took advantage of that, and this information has already reached the government of Ethiopia,” he said.
He pointed out that the government of Ethiopia has decided to cut diplomatic ties with the government of South Sudan and expel South Sudan’s Ambassador to Addis Ababa.
“Even if there are differences between us, Ethiopia cannot expel our ambassador, because the ambassador is the ambassador of South Sudan to Ethiopia and at the same time he is representing us in the African Union. So, Ethiopia cannot expel our ambassador,” he said.
According to the official, South Sudan government will issue a statement to deny the rumour.
File photo: Ethiopian Prime Minister during his visit to the capital Juba in October, 2016 (Radio Tamazuj)