Egypt has a long history with the region. Greater Sudan was ruled from Cairo until the 1950s and Egypt continues to have strong cultural and economic connections with both Sudan and South Sudan, which became an independent nation in 2011. In recent months Egypt and South Sudan have grown closer, especially in the context of regional African politics.
Most notably South Sudan has been energetically advocating for the African Union to lift Egypt’s suspension from the organisation. Egypt was suspended by the African Union on 13 July following former president Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow, which the African Union considers unconstitutional. In a meeting with the Egyptian prime minister in early March, South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba Benjamin said his country has exerted efforts “in every African forum” to lift Egypt’s suspension from activities within the African Union.