JUBA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Egypt on Monday vowed to continue supporting efforts to restore stability and security in South Sudan.
Visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told journalists in Juba that Cairo remains committed to ensuring stability and security in the youngest nation that has been embroiled in more than four years of conflict.
Humanitarian agencies warn that almost two-thirds of the population of South Sudan face starving between May and July if there is no sustained humanitarian assistance and access.
Shoukry said Egypt will continue to help South Sudan with its capacity building, and in improving its agricultural, irrigation, medical and educational fields.
South Sudanese Minister in the office of the President Mayiik Ayii Deng said Egypt is not just a political ally for political expediency, but a steadfast supporter of the people of South Sudan in their darkest hour.
"It was Egypt that led the African bloc in the (United Nations) Security Council to defeat the draft resolution intended to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan," Deng said.
He added that Egypt, alongside Uganda and South Africa, were among the first countries in Africa to come out in support of the South Sudan national dialogue and will continue to provide political, moral, financial, technical and material support to the steering committee of the national dialogue.
Egypt now hosts over 150,000 South Sudanese who are afforded all freedoms like citizens of Egypt, Deng said.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, after political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to fighting, mostly between ethnic Dinka soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar's Nuer ethnic group.
A 2015 peace agreement collapsed in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital, forcing Machar to flee into exile.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and forced millions of others to seek refuge in neighboring countries.