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Hamdok Arrives in South Sudan on First Official Trip

Hamdok Arrives in South Sudan on First Official Trip

Thursday, 12 September, 2019 - 10:30
Hamdok chose South Sudan for his first foreign trip as premier via AFP

Sudan's Newly appointed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok arrived in South Sudan on Thursday on his first official visit since becoming premier.

Hamdok is set to meet South Sudan President Salva Kiir as well as Sudanese opposition leaders on his two-day visit.

"I am very delighted to be here in my second home, Juba. We are looking for a very strategic, very distinguished relationship between our two nations, and the sky is the limit for this relationship," Hamdok said upon his arrival, AFP reported.

"We hope to have a very prosperous relationship that will address issues of trade, border issue, oil, free movement of our people between the two countries and all these agendas," he stressed.

South Sudan split from the north in 2011 after decades of bloody war with Khartoum, famously becoming the world's youngest nation.

While tensions remain high between south and north over ongoing border disputes and the transfer of oil to the north, the two nations have increasingly moved to normalize ties in recent years.

One of the last moves by ousted former President Omar al-Bashir was to broker a peace deal between President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar.

Observers are anxious to see if Khartoum's new government will push Kiir and Machar to advance on the implementation of the deal.

The two men met this week in Juba for the first time in five months, with a power-sharing government meant to be set up by November.

In a further sign of rapprochement between the two countries, Kiir offered in 2018 to mediate peace talks between Khartoum and rebels in the Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur conflict zones, according to AFP.

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