PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has told the government of South Sudan that it can always rely on Nigeria to help solve its internal insecurity problems as the country is always there to assist it with its aim of achieving political and economic stability.
Africa’s youngest state, South Sudan gained independence from the Republic of the Sudan in 2011 and has since struggled with the birthpains of nationhood. Among the problems the country faces is a long-running border dispute with Sudan and lacking the necessary structures of government, the South Sudanese government is struggling to exert its authority across the country.
Earlier today, President Buhari held a bilateral meeting with President Salva Kiir of South Sudan in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa where he said Nigeria is always willing to extend a helping hand. At the meeting, President Buhari expressed concern over the political instability of Libya, saying that so long as the country remains unstable, the proliferation of arms and light weapons in the Sahel region would persist.
President Buhari said: “Nigeria will contribute its quota as much as possible to the development of South Sudan. Take us into confidence and ask us what we can do.”
Stressing the need for cooperation among developing countries, President Buhari said with investments in education, improved economy and healthcare, things will surely improve. On the situation in Guinea and Mali, he reiterated that African leaders must support efforts geared towards the return of democracy in the countries.
President Kiir, who acknowledged Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa, appreciated the country’s effort in the liberation struggle of South Sudan. He also commended the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, for assisting in the education of many South Sudanese girls in the country.
“In West Africa, the Economic Community of West African States intervenes immediately whenever a country has a problem. That should be adopted in East and Central Africa,” President Kiir added.
Presidents Buhari and Kiir were among several African leaders that attended the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. He was being sworn-in for a second five-year term in office after being re-elected.