President Salva Kiir Mayardit's Visit to Khartoum: Goals and Outcomes

President Kiir’s visit to Khartoum, a response to President al-Bashir’s invitation, came at a moment of desperation in South Sudan, and as such, was not optimum in terms of its gains for South Sudan. In view of the agreements the President signed, it is clear that Sudan simply handed over a prepared document to South Sudanese for signature, with terms that are more beneficial to Khartoum. This was a result of the upper hand that Khartoum had in terms of global weight and the weakness of South Sudan in terms of near collapse of the state. In other words, South Sudan had zero leverage in the negotiations, for what else was President Kiir giving Khartoum in exchange, other than oil reserves, commitment to border security so that Khartoum takes advantage of South Sudan, the biggest market for its manufactured goods? It was a meeting without the balance of power and was bound to favor Sudan in the end. While mutual cooperation, harmonious relations and respect for each other’s existence are important for both countries, the agreements forged this time favor Khartoum more than they favor Juba.