What Happened: South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit has traveled to the United Arab Emirates to meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discuss improving bilateral relations, The National reported April 23. Both sides reportedly agreed on a $10 million grant to South Sudanese small and medium-sized enterprises and signed agreements on foreign direct investment and potential visa waivers, among others.
Why It Matters: Kiir is visiting Abu Dhabi at a time when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar and other countries are looking to increase their influence in the Horn of Africa by securing proxy relations with key states.
Background: Abu Dhabi has aggressively pursued port concessions along the Red Sea to secure maritime trade access in the coming years.
- France: Macron Looks to Drum Up Business in the Horn of Africa (March 11, 2019)
- Washington Wakes Up to East Africa's Importance (Nov. 29, 2018)
- Eritrea Creaks Open the Door as Fears of War Recede (Oct. 12, 2018)