Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Monday his country would give continued support for South Sudan’s peace and stability.
Desalegn made the remarks while holding talks with South Sudan’s Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth on ways of ensuring peace and security in South Sudan in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The Premier also urged the South Sudanese government to work towards a full restoration of peace and stability in the country and solve the nation’s problems in a more inclusive manner, Ethiopia’s state news agency reported.
The need to install comprehensive public participation as a crucial impetus to build political solution to the ongoing crisis in the world’s youngest nation, he said.
Ethiopia and South Sudan have earlier this year signed eight agreements aimed at further strengthening ties of the two neighboring countries.
According to Gatkuoth, Kiir’s message was mainly about the implementation of the forum his country signed with IGAD in 2015.
“The South Sudanese government is implementing the forum as it promised and the aim of the forum is to restore stability in the country,” Gatkuoth said.
The two nations, he said, will continue to cooperate in all spheres of activities.
“For us, Ethiopia is a strategic country and a partner, and we will always continue to rely on Ethiopia for all things that could happen in South Sudan. It is Ethiopia that brought peace and stability to South Sudan,” added Gatkouth.
The agreements, signed as part of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir’s official visit to Ethiopia, envisage partnerships in infrastructure, trade, energy and healthcare sectors.
But the war in the country has impeded the realization of the deals.
South Sudan became the world’s newest nation in 2011. However, civil war erupted four years ago, after President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy, Riek Machar.
Thousands of people have already died in South Sudan from a four-year civil war. A quarter of the country’s population of 12 million has also been uprooted and displaced by the violence.
To date over 1.8 million refugees have fled to six neighboring countries to escape the conflict.