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South Sudan denies reports over Egyptian base near Ethiopian border


Wrist-banding of newly-arrived south Sudanese refugees at the Pagak entry point, Gambella. On 4 November 2016 (UNHCR Ethiopia-Photo)

June 5, 2020 (JUBA,) — South Sudan’s foreign ministry denied reports claiming that Juba had given green light for Egypt to establish a military base near the Ethiopian border.

“The ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation hereby denies in the strongest terms possible, the information which has been circulated in the social media that the government of South Sudan has agreed to Egyptian request to build a military base in Pagak,” reads a statement issued on Wednesday.

Relations between Egypt and Ethiopia are strained by the disagreement over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) particularly the filling of its reservoir.

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“There is nothing of that kind, no agreement has been reached whatsoever to allocate a piece of land for Egyptian military base in the territory of the Republic of South Sudan,” said the South Sudanese government distancing itself from any suspicion.

Juba further said the “spurious allegation” was forged and disseminated by the enemies of peace who seek to create tensions for the South Sudanese government with the neighbouring countries.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are expected to resume technical meetings to finalize talks on the safety of the dam, environmental issues, data exchange facilitation and the resolutions of disputes.

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