The outgoing ambassador of Egypt to South Sudan Ayman Mokhtar El-Gammal says unless South Sudanese relinquish violence, the won’t progress in development.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The National Courier prior, Ambassador Mokhtar says “the potential of South Sudan is huge we just need to realize that if everybody relinquish violence and everybody decides to go into… I give you a small example, cultivation if you farm you will become a food producer of East Africa, you have the most fertile land in the region, but you decided not to farm” he said.

Ambassador Mokhtar recalls that one of his biggest problems he faced in South Sudan as an ambassador was the issue of land in which the communities aren’t willing to give land for development and also security was also so challenging.

“One of the main challenges we face is security which is the biggest challenge and it is the hindrance towards any development but beyond we have really a very big problem in regards to land allocation. The constitution gives the land to local communities and the local communities do not understand the value of development and projects and that was the biggest challenge for us particularly in the greater Equatoria states not only for us but may donors complained about land” Ambassador Mokhtar said.

He dismissed allegations that Egypt is against South Sudan’s full utilization of the Nile instead said Egypt is ready to help South Sudan in the usage of the Nile.

“We actually provided 47 million dollar assistance in water management and irrigation. We did river navigation, water treatment, we also built boreholes we also did visibility study of the Suwa dam in Wau we never objected South Sudan building dams on the Bahr el Jebel there are five dams agreed upon in the 1970s with Sudan to be built on Bahr el Jebel they never materialized but we never objected” he said.

He added that Norway is building the Fula and they never objected to that so I don’t know “where these information are coming from I think those are misinformation being circulated by people who want to have a slower relations between Egypt and South Sudan we never in my five years of stay here objected to any project we actually even had a project which was requested by President Salva Kiir to drench the Bahr el Jebel, Bahr el Ghazel and Sobat to become navigable and we agreed on that” he said.

The National Courier