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 Zecharias Zelalem, Special to Addis Standard

Addis Abeba, June 27/2017 – Although some experts say there was bound to be a head on collision within the Gulf States sometime in the not too distant future, the speed in which the recent diplomatic crisis unfolded has caught many off guard. It began on June 05 when Saudi Arabia, with the backing of Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE, abruptly severed diplomatic ties with Qatar accusing it of sponsoring terrorism and destabilizing the Gulf region.  Although the Gulf States have in the past frequently found themselves at odds for one reason or another, it was clear from the get go that the recent crisis was no ordinary spat amongst cousins.

 

Zecharias Zelalem, Special to Addis Standard

Addis Abeba, Feb. 10/2017 – On January 9, 2017, South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, arrived in Cairo, Egypt, to meet with his counterpart, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, and discuss, according to media reports, bilateral ties.” With most media either unable or unwilling to go beyond the official transcript, details of what exactly has prompted Egypt’s leader to invite the embattled South Sudanese President to the Ettihadeya Palace (just a few weeks after president Al-Sisi met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe), remain sketchy; it left a lot of room for a lot of speculation.

Nearly a day after Kiir’s arrival in Egypt, The South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) published an article making some bold statements claiming, among other things, that it had firsthand information about discussions of a “dirty deal” in the works between South Sudan, Egypt, and to a certain extent, Uganda.