Posts Tagged ‘jerusalem post’

China in a tug of war between two Sudans
Washington Post
Juba, South Sudan — Soon after South Sudan became independent last year, China opened an embassy here, eager to protect its oil interests. It quickly dispatched its foreign minister and began discussing a huge aid package for this destitute land.
China walks political tight rope in Sudan’s oil fight
Washington Post
High-stakes feuding between Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan has cut off a source of oil to fuel China’s booming economy, while putting at risk billions in Chinese investments. Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2011.
Protecting the Children of South Sudan
SOS Children’s Villages (press release) (blog)
March 23, 2012: There was a time in history when some children in Sudan were disfigured for their own protection. This is no longer the case, but child protection inSouth Sudan is still as important as ever. Akwoch Ayang, SOS Village Director with a
Jonglei peace to begin soon: South Sudan Archbishop says
Sudan Tribune
March 23, 2012 (ST) The committee presented Jonglei governor, Kuol Manyang, with the President of South Sudan’s, plans on how the committee should approach peace in the conflict torn state, where a disarmament campaign is taking place.

Relations with South Sudan needs improvement
Luanda – The relations between Angola and South Sudan need to be strengthened in various domains, due to the poor or non-existing bilateral co-operation, Angop learnt. This was said by the head of the Sub-Saharan department of the Angolan Foreign 

South Sudanese in Israel no longer refugees’
Jerusalem Post
By BEN HARTMAN South Sudanese child slave turned refugee turned Israel advocate and Coney Island lifeguard says South Sudanese are no longer refugees, but should be given more time to return home. By Courtesy Now that they have their own state South 

Central Africa: AU to Send 5000 Soldiers to Pursue Uganda’s LRA Rebels
The newly established unit will be comprised of 5000 soldiers from Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central Africa Republic (CAR). These are the nations that have been most affected by more than two decades of LRA 
African Union launches US-backed force to hunt Kony
The AU force aims to coordinate soldiers already hunting for Kony from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and Uganda with logistical and intelligence help from Washington. In October, US President Barack 

Sudan asks China to help in oil dispute with South
Mmegi Online
BEIJING: Sudan’s government said yesterday that it has appealed to diplomatic partner and investor China for help in resolving a protracted dispute over oil revenues with newly independent South Sudan.>Sudanese Foreign Minister 

Parliament Passes Higher Education Bill
By Abraham Garang, 28 February 2012 Juba — The South Sudan National Legislative Assembly in its sitting on Monday 27th February 2012, chaired by its Speaker Right Honorable James Wani Igga, passed the Higher Education Bill (2012) into law in its 

Israel to help S. Sudan prevent gender-based violence
Jerusalem Post
By Ben Hartman A group of Israeli experts is traveling to South Sudan on Thursday to conduct the first gender-based violence training program for social workers in the world’s newest nation. The Israeli delegation is part of IsraAID, the Israel-based 

Sudan asks China to help in oil dispute with South

Mmegi Online – ‎
BEIJING: Sudan’s government said yesterday that it has appealed to diplomatic partner and investor China for help in resolving a protracted dispute over oil revenues with newly independent South Sudan.>Sudanese Foreign Minister 
The Citizen Daily – ‎
In an air-conditioned Toyota showroom packed with half a dozen off-road vehicles in South Sudan’s capital, dealer Desmond McCue is wondering whether the shutdown of the country’s oil production industry means the bonanza is over.
Pakistan Observer – ‎
Khartoum—Sudan denounced suggestions that it was confiscating oil from South Sudan on Tuesday and indicated that the newly independent South was responsible for stonewalling an oil deal between the two nations. South Sudan became Africa’s newest nation 
The Nation, Pakistan – ‎
JUBA – South Sudan has signed a ceasefire with the largest of several rebel groups which threaten the stability of the world’s newest nation, the government said on Tuesday. The deal to integrate an estimated 1800 guerrilla fighters into the South’s 
China Daily – ‎‎
By Zhang Yunbi and Cheng Guangjin (China Daily) BEIJING – Differences between Sudan and South Sudan should be resolved as soon as possible, China said, as tensions over oil rights simmered. Vice-President Xi Jinping told Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali 
The Daily Star – ‎
JUBA: A major South Sudanese rebel group with alleged links to the northern government in Khartoum has signed an amnesty deal two months after its leader was killed, South Sudan said Tuesday. George Athor founded the South Sudan Democratic Movement in 
News24 – ‎Feb 28, 2012‎
This colourful guide contains concise information on 234 reef fish and 36 coral species found along… Now R153.95 Juba – South Sudan has signed a ceasefire with the largest of several rebel groups which threaten the stability of the world’s newest 
News24 – ‎Feb 28, 2012‎
Beijing – Sudan’s government said on Tuesday that it has appealed to diplomatic partner and investor China for help in resolving a protracted dispute over oil revenues with newly independent South Sudan. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti said 
Conduct IRC South Sudan Supply Chain workshop annually.
Reuters AlertNet
Responsible for the successful rollout and maintenance of Prologs for IRC South . Ensure procurement is done according to IRC and/or donor regulations. Ensure that staff participating in tender committees are trained and understand their roles.
SUDAN: Undeclared War Survives Peacemaking Efforts
Strategy Page
February 28, 2012: In January it was the Kenya pipeline, now South Sudan is also exploring an oil pipeline through Ethiopia to Djibouti. Djibouti has access to the sea; South Sudan is landlocked. The central objective is obvious: escaping Sudan’s 
South Sudan Agrees Truce With Major Rebel Group
The government of South Sudan has signed a peace deal with one of the largest rebel groups, theSouth Sudan Democratic Movement, a South Sudan official said Tuesday, in a move that could help to stabilize the situation in the troubled oil-rich East 

Sudan blames South for aiding rebels in attack
The tension is rising between the government in Khartoum and the recently independent South Sudan, with both sides blaming each other for sponsoring rebels and torpedoing a long-awaited oil agreement. By Joseph BAMAT Rebels claimed on Monday to have 
NCP Urges Opposition Support Against South Sudan ‘Attack’
Khartoum — The governing National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan has appealed for support from local opposition groups against a military attack it alleges was carried out by neighboring South Sudan. The NCP-led government has accused South Sudan’s 

Rebels Sign Truce in South Sudan
Wall Street Journal
The government of South Sudan signed a peace deal with one of the largest rebel groups, theSouth Sudan Democratic Movement, a South Sudan official said Tuesday, in a move that could help stabilize the East African nation. The peace deal was signed 

South Sudan Idea to join East Africa Community losses Value
by JosephEdward February 29, 2012 The South Sudan long dialogue over joining the East Africa Community, has touched, the interest of the Speaker of National Legislative Assembly James Wani Igga, last week in a Parliamentary sitting, Igga released a

“I am very moved to be in Israel and to walk on the soil of the Promised Land, and with me are all South Sudanese people. Israel has always supported the South Sudanese people. Without you, we would not have arisen”—said President Kiir to President Shimon Peres of Israel.

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By PaanLuel Wel, Washington DC, USA

The Jewish state of Israel “recognized South Sudan a day after it declared independence in July, with Netanyahu calling Kiir and offering Jerusalem’s expertise in developing the fledgling country’s infrastructure, communications network and agriculture.” As President Salva Kiir landed in Israel on Tuesday, Reuters reports that:

 “Israel hosted the leader of its newest ally in Africa, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, which was recognized by the Jewish state hours after it declared independence in July” (Reuters).

On his first official and historic visit to the Jewish state of Israel, Salva Kiir Mayaardit, the South Sudanese president, whose entourage included Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nhial Deng Nhial, Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Gen. John Kong Nyuon, and Minister at the Office of the President Emmanuel Lowilla, exudes both emotion and gratitude to the Jewish state:

“I am very excited to be here, to set foot in the Promised Land. Israel has always supported the South Sudanese people – we wouldn’t exist without you. You fought beside us to allow for the inception of South Sudan and we would like to learn from you…We have shared values. Throughout history we have overcome similar struggles. We will work with Israel in the future to bolster the strategic ties between our countries…South Sudan is interested in pursuing joint ventures with Israel in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture, water conservation and advanced technologies” (Y-net News)

Though Jerusalem Post described the trip as “the low-key, one-day, an under-the-radar visit”, President Kiir was nevertheless formally received by all the top leaders of the Israeli government. Reuters informs us that:

“Kiir met Israeli President Shimon Peres and toured the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem ahead of talks later in the day with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak” (Reuters).

In what the Israeli’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised as “this is an historic; first visit by the president of this new country, the 193rd state recognized by the United Nations half a year ago”, each of the leaders took turn to recognize the South Sudanese President and hailed his visit as an historic and important milestone in the long strategic relationship between the two countries.

As reported by the Israel National News, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who had earlier this year visited Juba, South Sudan, and the one who officially welcomed President Kiir at the airport on Tuesday, told the visiting South Sudanese leader that:

“Your choice of Israel for one of your first visits as president reflects the deep friendship and natural partnership between South Sudan and Israel. Ties between our two countries will continue to strengthen. There is great potential for cooperation between us, and your visit is very important in the establishment of cooperation in many fields, including economic relations, agriculture, water, energy, and more” (Israel National News).

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, President Kiir counterpart, President Shimon Peres of Israel, while receiving him, told President Kiir that:

 “This is an exciting and historical moment for me and for the State of Israel. Israel has supported, and will continue to support, your country in all areas in order to strengthen and develop it. We know that you courageously and wisely struggled against all odds to establish your country and for us, the birth of South Sudan is a milestone in the history of the Middle East and in advancing the values of equality, freedom and striving for peace and good neighborly relations”(Jewish telegraphic Agency.)

To that, President Kiir responded by saying:

“As a nation that rose from dust, and as the few who fought the many, you have established a flourishing country that offers a future and economic prosperity to its children. I have come to see your success” (AFP).

On his part, the Israeli Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, as noted by the Jewish Space, later posted to his Facebook wall that:

 “I met today with South Sudan President Salva Kiir and agreed that an Israeli delegation would leave for South Sudan soon. The delegation will examine means of assisting the South Sudan people who have suffered greatly in recent years, in developing their new country” (

Although the main goal of the one-day official visit was not explicit, the two leaders, President Kiir and PM Bibi Netanyahu, are believed to have discussed, among other things, the issue of illegal immigrants from Africa in Israel and the possibility of repatriating South Sudanese and Darfuri migrants to the new country. The tiny state of Israel has been struggling to cope with refugees from (old) Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Jerusalem Post and Sudan Tribune recorded that the meeting between the two leaders:

“Plans to discuss solutions for illegal immigrants from Africa [and]…focus on repatriating illegal Sudanese refugees who flowed into the Jewish state over the last few years. [Moreover] The Jewish state promised to assist South Sudan in areas of infrastructure, communications and agriculture.”

The peaceful divorce and independence of the Republic of South Sudan provided a great inspiration to the Israeli leaders. As reported by AFP, Israeli’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, pointed out that:

“The story of your independence ought to set a very good example for anyone interested in achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East. A country cannot emerge virtually” (Agence France-Presse).

That the independence of South Sudan could be touted as the “proper model” for the ultimate resolution of the perennial Middle East’s conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs would strike some observers as ironic. Just in October of this year, The National, a United Arab Emirate Newspaper found that:

“The majority (77%) of UAE residents polled in a survey suspected that the birth of the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, was orchestrated by the US and Israel to weaken Arab countries” (The National).

For the most part since African countries threw off the yoke of European colonization, Israeli’s diplomacy has been a disaster in Africa. This was mainly for two key reasons:  Israel former close association with apartheid regime of South Africa that alienated almost all Sub-Saharan African countries and the Palestinians’ plight that angered North African—and other Islamic countries in Africa.

As of late, the Jewish state appears to be on the diplomatic offensive. Jerusalem Post again:

“Kiir’s visit comes two months after the leaders of two other countries, Uganda and Kenya, visited Jerusalem. It also comes as Netanyahu is planning a visit to sub-Saharan Africa in February. He is expected to visit Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya; although the final schedule has not yet been finalized…It comes at a time when Israel, amid sweeping changes in the region, is looking to strengthen its ties with sub-Saharan Africa” (Jerusalem Post).

However, Israel’s ties with the South Sudanese rebels—and people—goes way back to the 1960s during the time of Anyanya One till the emergence of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army—the SPLM/A. Israel was the backbone of the Anyanya One Movement—the military wing of the South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM) headed by General Joseph Lagu Yanga.

According to Arop Madut’s Sudan’s Painful Road to Peace, between 1967 and 1968, two batches of the Anyanya One soldiers, comprising about forty officers and under the leadership of Colonel Joseph Lagu, were selected and sent to Israel for effective military training:

“The first batch included: Joseph Lagu Yanga, Frederick Brian Maggot, Paul Awel, Emmanuel Abuur Nhial, Alison Manani Magaya, William Yanga, Mathew Pagan, Stephen Ogut, John Okwak, Edward Peter, Escopas Juma, and Edward Lumodi, among others…the second batch were: John Okech, Peter Cyrillo, Dominic Diim Deng, Isaiah Paul, Ambrose Monyteeng, Kenneth Simone, Bona Baang, Gordon Muortat Mabei, Francis Ngor Makiec, Abraham Hilel and others” (Arop Madut).

Furthermore, in 1970, the Anyanya One Movement selected and sent the third batch of officers to Israel:

“The third batch that was sent in 1970 included John Garang de Mabior (the only university graduate), Stephen Baak Madut, Salva Mathok, Caesar Ayok Deng Kuol, Simone Ayom, Francis Malek, Simone Makuach, Samuel Jeiel and Amos Agook” (Arop Madut).

Sometimes, in the midst of South Sudanese leaders endless wrangling over power, the Israelis were compelled to take side and to impose—for the sake of the South Sudanese struggle—some unilateral decisions and favored leaders on the Anyanya One Movement. One such incident happened during a bitter power struggle between Chairman Gordon Muortat of the Nile Provisional government (NPG) and his estranged chief of staff Colonel Joseph Lagu. Arop Madut again:

“…Lagu made it known to the Anyanya factions all over South Sudan that consignment of military hardware and relief supplies would not reach them unless they pledge their allegiance to his leadership…the Israeli experts who have been training the Anyanya freedom fighters flew to Kampala, Uganda [and]…they sent a letter to Teet-Adol, the Anyanya secret command post in Bahr el-Ghazal….the letter contained an order to the local commander to sent his representative to them in Kampala. Colonel Emmanuel Abuur and his adjutant Stephen Madut Baak immediately left for Kampala to meet the Israelis. The Israeli envoys told Colonel Abuur, in no uncertain terms, that the decision had been reached that all the Anyanya forces all over the Southern Provinces should pledge their allegiance to Joseph Lagu, now Major General….Colonel Abuur was convinced that any military and non-military aid was conditional upon loyalty to Major General Joseph Lagu….A military delegation was sent to Chairman Gordon Muortat to brief him about the sour turn of events. The delegation pleaded [with] him to stand down and leave for exile….Muortat lowered the NPG’s flag, dissolved his government and stepped down peacefully. He was then escorted to the Congo border where he was to live in exile” (Arop Madut).

But as the Agence France-Presse (AFP) described below, those ties between the state of Israel and the South Sudanese people and rebels were later perfected and cemented during the South Sudan war of independence under the stewardship of the SPLM/A of Dr. John Garang:

“Israel’s ties with the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, which is now the south’s ruling party, have long been close, with the Jewish state allegedly providing arms during the war, although neither side has publicly acknowledged any weapons transfers” (AFP).

The fruitions of those long years of South Sudanese protracted struggle and partnership with the Jewish state were finally realized this year, 2011. As South Sudan official declared her independence from (north) Sudan on July 9, 2011, IsraAID, the humanitarian arm of the Israeli government—akin to the American USAID—sent aid to South Sudan in July 2011. Here is how Shachar Zahavi, the founding director of IsraAID, rationalizes it:

“As a small and relatively newborn country Israel has gained experience in various specialties, such as water, agriculture, post traumatic stress syndrome, education, migration and others that would be valuable to the people of South Sudan who are now building their country. It is our mission, consistent with Jewish values, to reach out to our new friends in any way we can” (Y-Net News).

True to the wonderful observations of President Salva Kiir Mayardit:

 “As a nation that rose from dust, and as the few who fought the many, you have established a flourishing country that offers a future and economic prosperity to its children. I have come to see your success” (AFP).

Both South Sudanese government and the patriotic people of South Sudanese have lots to learn from the state of Israel. After all, our immense suffering, though paltry relative to that of the Jews, parallels theirs. We share common spiritual homeland in the Holy Land and our mutual military ties is as old as our own long road to freedom.

Though they have long been displaced from their ancestral and Biblical homeland—and hence suffered immeasurably throughout millennia at the hand of Christians and Muslims—the Jews still count among themselves such great and world-renowned names as Jesus of Nazareth, St. Peter, St. Paul, Albert Einstein, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Marx, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and most importantly, Robert Oppenheimer (the father of Atomic bomb) and Edward Teller (father of Hydrogen Bomb). And so are the founders of Google and Facebook—the list is endless!

The most essential lesson here is that suffering is not an excuse, nor an insurmountable obstacle to overcome, not to succeed and prosper. Out of the ashes of the holocaust, Israel was born; out of the rubble of the long Sudanese war, South Sudan is borne.

By choosing to pay a visit to the state of Israel—a vibrant democracy, technologically advanced and militarily superior country, President Kiir is nudging this young underprivileged nation to embark on the hard lengthy path to long lasting peace, true political freedom, sustainable economic development and social prosperity. Are we ready, able and willing?

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You can reach PaanLuel Wël at, PaanLuel Wel (Facebook page), PaanLuelWel2011 (Twitter account).

Diplomacy: An appreciative partner in Africa
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, wearing his signature black cowboy hat, rode into Israel this week as head of the world’s newest country for a visit clearly signaling a growing Jerusalem-Juba alliance.Though blessed with massive oil deposits and largely untapped natural wealth, South Sudan is a dirt-poor nation of eight million people in eastern Africa entangled with its stronger neighbor to the north in a border dispute that seems on the brink of spilling over into an all-out war.

On the surface, this would not necessarily seem to be the most valuable country for Israel to befriend. South Sudan, which is predominantly Christian, seceded from its Muslim neighbor to the north in July after decades of civil war that began in 1955. Israel recognized South Sudan within hours of its independence declaration.

In an indication of just how important Israel views its relationship with the fledgling country, Kiir – who was accompanied on his first trip here as president by his defense and foreign ministers – met and was greeted warmly by Israel’s top leaders: President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Peres alluded to the help Israel gave south Sudanese rebels in the late 1960s, reminding Kiir that as deputydefense minister he had met in Paris, alongside then-prime minister Levi Eshkol, with local leaders from southern Sudan.

“We provided them with extensive assistance in agriculture and infrastructures,” Peres said. That was an understatement.

According to Jimmy Mulla, an advocate for South Sudan living in Washington, Israel at the time also provided invaluable training to the rebels. “Israel helped the [rebel] movement, giving them instruction,” he said in a telephone interview.

PaanLuel Wel, a prolific South Sudanese blogger also based in Washington, wrote in July that the friendship of the South Sudanese to Israel, besides being based in the country’s deep Christian religious roots, can be traced back to the beginning of the south’s rebellion.

“For many years during that first south Sudanese struggle of 1955- 1972, the Jewish state of Israel was the main moral supporter of the Southern rebels and the chief supplier of physical materials such as arms and international maneuvering,” he wrote.

Consequently, it didn’t come as a big surprise when the head of the rebel movement, General Joseph Lagu, was among the first world leaders to send a letter of congratulations to Eshkol after the Six Day War.

To the Southern rebels led by Lagu, Wel wrote, Israel was fighting the very enemy that was discriminating against and oppressing them.

Wel’s words help to explain what Peres meant when he told Kiir during their meeting that this was a “moving and historic moment” for him and for Israel.

“Israel has supported and will continue to support your country in all areas in order to strengthen and develop it,” he said. “We know that you courageously and wisely struggled against all odds to establish your country and for us, the birth of South Sudan is a milestone in the history of the Middle East.” According to a statement put out by Peres’s office about the meeting between the two men, Kiir said he was moved to be in Israel and “walk on the soil of the Promised Land, and with me are all South Sudanese people.”

“Israel has always supported the South Sudanese people,” he said.

“Without you, we would not have arisen. You struggled alongside us in order to allow the establishment of South Sudan and we are interested in learning from your experience. As a nation that rose from dust, and as the few who fought the many, you have established a flourishing country that offers a future and economic prosperity to its children. I have come to see your success.”

Despite those very warm words, diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said that this week’s Israeli bear hug, or at least the fact that the hug was made public, somewhat embarrassed Kiir, who was hoping for a more low-profile, under-the-radar visit. This desire for a low-key visit was not because he or his people are not extremely pro-Israel. Indeed, one of the more memorable images of 2011, at least from an Israeli perspective, was the publication of pictures in July of South Sudanese celebrating their independence by waving Israeli flags.

Rather, Kiir – who does want a strong relationship with Jerusalem – preferred to keep the visit low-key because he realizes that with his country taking its first baby steps, it must be concerned about how visible ties with Israel will be interpreted by his powerful neighbors to the north: Sudan and Egypt.

And he does indeed have something to be worried about.

Two days after his visit, The Sudan Tribune – a news website dealing with Sudanese and African affairs – reported that Sudan was alarmed by Kiir’s trip to Israel. According to the website, which ran a photo of Kiir laying a wreath at Yad Vashem, the official spokesman of Sudan’s foreign ministry, Al-Obaid Marawih, told reporters in Khartoum that the government was concerned and was studying the visit to “ascertain its possible ramifications.”

Regarding Egypt, one diplomatic official in Jerusalem said that Israel’s ties with South Sudan “drive the Egyptians nuts,” because of an almost conspiratorial fear they have that Israel will gain leverage over Cairo by somehow diverting the flow of the White Nile tributary, which flows through South Sudan.

This same concern about the Nile was also voiced by the Egyptians when Israel and Ethiopia forged ties in the 1990s. In an indication of how real this fear of nefarious Israeli designs on the Nile is in the Arab world, the topic was a component of a news program piece on Al Jazeera in English this week about the burgeoning Israeli-South Sudanese ties.

Ask Israeli diplomatic officials what interests Israel has in South Sudan and they will say – if they are willing to talk at all – that Jerusalem is keen on helping the fledgling nation develop and can offer all kinds of assistance in the spheres of technology, infrastructure development, construction and agricultural and water management.

Indeed, the only thing the Prime Minister’s Office was willing to say about Kiir’s visit was that a team of experts will be dispatched to South Sudan shortly to determine that country’s needs and how Israel can help.

Israeli officials don’t talk, and nobody will talk, about security cooperation, which is obviously something that the South Sudanese – already involved in skirmishes with Sudan – have in mind.

For Israel, South Sudan is extremely important geographically.

It is a friendly country in the heart of a region that Iran is trying to penetrate. Israel is concerned about a flow of arms going from Iran, through Sudan, into Egypt, Sinai and then Gaza.

Indeed, foreign reports said that Israel was behind a couple of mysterious raids on arms convoys in Sudan over the past three years.

In addition, South Sudan is part of a cluster of countries in eastern Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, that Israel is trying to cultivate in a manner not seen for years. Each of these countries is facing threats from Islamic radicals, giving them an interest in closer cooperation with Israel.

The leaders of Uganda and Kenya were both in Israel last month and Netanyahu is planning the first extended visit by an Israeli prime minister to sub-Saharan Africa since 1966 with a trip to Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia tentatively planned for February.

(Yitzhak Rabin made a stopover of a few hours in Kenya in 1993 on the way back from a Far East trip, but that was anything but the full blown state visit Netanyahu has in mind.) South Sudan, for its part, is obviously interested in military relationship, as attested by the visit of the country’s defense minister along with Kiir, but also for Israeli civilian technology and know-how.

As blogger Wel puts it, South Sudan stands to reap many benefits from a close relationship with Israel. “Israel is among the most economically advanced OECD member states,” he writes. “With our own naturally endowed abundance of resources, befriending such a country will open many doors of opportunities for the mining and exploitation of our own resources.”

Wel contrasts Israel to China and the West, saying it has no history of neo-colonialism in Africa.

Furthermore, Israel, he writes, can help develop the country’s education systems that, due to oppressive polices from successive governments in Khartoum and the long civil war, is in “a pathetic condition crying out for refurbishment.”

“What is needed is a technologically based system of education, one that befits the 21st century we are in,” he writes. “The state of Israel has it and, as our long-time friend, it is willing to help us get on our own feet, after decades of painfully crawling on the rough edges of illiteracy, poverty, desolation, and disillusionment.”