The President of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit is in Botswana for a three-day state visit from 24th to 26th June 2013. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu Skelemani said that the South Sudanese president is here at the invitation of President Ian Khama.
The two presidents’ schedule includes holding talks on the 24th June and is expected to deliberate on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern. While in the country, president Mayardit will also address a business seminar on the 24th and will officially open the Mmadinare Senior Secondary School the following day.
“Botswana and South Sudan have enjoyed bilateral relations which date back to the formative years of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement’s struggle for self determination and independence from Sudan. Botswana became one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with South Sudan on 9th July 2011 when, the very same day when South Sudan attained independence from Sudan,“ a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation reads in part.
The newest African country got independence in 2011 after the 2005 peace agreement. This came after decades of conflict and the northern Sudan in which some 1.5 million people were killed. Both Sudan and the South currently rely on their number one natural resource being oil. It is understood that the oil revenues account for 98% of South Sudan's budget. However, the two countries are yet to agree on how to divide the oil wealth.