South Sudan and Ethiopia Eye New Oil Pipeline with Highway Project

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South Sudan and Ethiopia Eye New Oil Pipeline with Highway Project

South Sudan on the map (© Shutterstock/hyotographics)
South Sudan on the map (© Shutterstock/hyotographics)

South Sudan and neighboring Ethiopia have agreed to strengthen border security and boost trade through the construction of a new oil pipeline, officials announced on July 7, 2024.

The agreement follows discussions between governors and administrators from both countries on July 6th. The talks, described as "cordial and honest" by officials, focused on building consensus on shared interests through infrastructure development.

"The meeting represents an opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations, enhance border security, and foster economic cooperation," said David Nyang, Minister of Cabinet Affairs in Upper Nile state.

A key outcome is a joint commitment to develop alternate oil transportation infrastructure. This includes mobilizing resources to build a highway connecting South Sudan's Upper Nile state to Ethiopia's Gambella region, with a route reaching the port of Djibouti. Enhanced security measures will be implemented along the route to facilitate trade and movement.

This initiative follows a June 24th decision by South Sudan's parliament to allocate $778 million for the construction of a highway linking the two countries.

"The existence of roads and improved security will significantly enhance border trade," Nyang added. He highlighted existing challenges, such as human trafficking and livestock smuggling due to weak border management.

South Sudan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Semaya K. Kumba, described the agreement as a milestone, promoting cooperation and understanding. He emphasized the government's commitment to implementing the agreement, building on the longstanding relationship between the two nations.

"This project represents a chance to consolidate peace and stability in the region through economic cooperation," Kumba concluded.