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Ethiopia denies expelling South Sudan’s ambassador

November 30, 2020 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia has dismissed as “fake news” reports that the South Sudanese ambassador to the country, James Pitia Morgan has been expelled.

South Sudan’s ambassador to Ethiopia, James Pitia Morgan (Ethiopian Herald photo)

“We have also confirmed that the South Sudanese Ambassador or any other diplomat is not expelled from Ethiopia,” partly reads a statement from Ethiopian Embassy in Juba on Twitter on Monday.

There were widely circulated reports that the Horn of Africa nation allegedly expelled the South Sudanese ambassador, a day after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited to Juba on Saturday.

The diplomat was allegedly given only 72 hours to leave Ethiopia.

However, South Sudan’s deputy foreign affairs minister, Deng Dau Deng dismissed reports on alleged expulsion the diplomat as untrue.

“This report is untrue. I can assure you our ambassador is in Addis Ababa going about his duties and attending diplomatic briefings with colleagues in the office of the Prime Minister,” he explained.

During his visit to Juba, the Egyptian president and his South Sudanese counterpart discussed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – a huge hydro scheme that Ethiopia has been building since 2011 on the Nile River. Ethiopia contributes 85% of waters to the Nile.

The Ethiopian government says it intends to fund the entire cost of the dam in order to prevent relying on foreign countries that may be brought under pressure by Egypt to withdraw their support.

Egypt and Sudan, which are heavily dependent on Nile water from Ethiopia, have tried in vain for years to forge a deal on how quickly the dam’s reservoir should be filled.

(ST)

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