Qatar and South Sudan established diplomatic ties in September 2020.
Qatar Airways is set to be exposed to more destinations around the world through an agreement signed on Sunday between Doha and South Sudan.
The document, designed to further open airspaces, was inked by Mohamed Faleh Al Hajri, who is in charge of managing the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, and Chief Executive of the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority Captain Subek David Dada.
“The agreement comes in the context of connecting Qatar with more air services agreements that open airspaces for the national carrier to fly to more destinations around the world,” state-run Qatar News Agency reported.
On the agenda was also means of boosting Qatar and South Sudan’s bilateral ties in the fields of civil aviation, transportation and transportation services.
The latest development comes as Qatar Airways announced its profits during the past fiscal year stood at $1.5 billion.
The Gulf carrier revealed this year’s revenue reached $14.4 billion, which is up 78% in comparison to last year’s. During the fiscal period between 2021 to 2022, the airline carried 18.5 million passengers, an approximate 200% surge from the previous year.
This is considered a drastic reversal of past slow downs for Qatar Airways as it grappled with a net loss of $4.1 billion in the previous fiscal cycle due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the grounding of more than 20 of its A350 jets.
“We have pursued every business opportunity and left no stone unturned as we aimed to meet our targets,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said.
“Our strategic investments in a varied fleet of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft has helped us overcome the significant challenges related to capacity constraints while balancing commercial needs as swiftly as possible.”
Qatar-South Sudan relations
Qatar and the Republic of South Sudan established diplomatic relations in September 2020.
In December 2020, Doha welcomed the signing of the final agreement to end the civil war and the share of power in South Sudan, which was signed in Khartoum.
Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time said that Doha hoped the agreement would represent a new horizon in the way of consolidating grounds for stability and security, through which all relevant parties would leave the “war-laden” past behind.
South Sudan politics
South Sudan achieved independence following a long-fought referendum on self-determination in 2011. Two years later however, a political crisis within its ruling party ensued, revealing faulty institutions and deep historical divisions among South Sudanese communities.
Though beginning as an elite political row, the conflict quickly assumed an ethnic divergence.
In December 2013, the then-new country descended into a devastating seven-year civil war. While a peace deal was signed by different parties in 2018, disputes between communities remained persistent.
The civil war left at least 400,000 people dead, and Human Rights Watch said the conflict “was a result of a power struggle between the political elite who manipulated ethnic divisions and grievances.”
The war was fought between the government forces of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, armed opposition group, Sudan People’s Liberation Army, as well as other armed groups and affiliated militias.
In accordance with the 2018 peace deal, they formed the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity in February 2020. The peace deal, however, appears to have neglected the root cause of the war and failed to address the grudges between the country’s authorities.
Violence between communities, has since prevailed, partially due to “spillover grievances” from the war and competition over land, cattle, and grazing.
Consequently, hundreds of thousands of people have been either killed or displaced.
The United Nations Security Council argues that a power vacuum that emerged in the period between the 2018 peace agreement and the delayed appointment of state ministers and county commissioners in 2020 and 2021 has allowed the conflict to simmer.
The number of people displaced by conflict in South Sudan has cumulatively surged yearly since the country witnessed the signing of the peace agreement in 2018, with 144,238 people displaced in 2019, 172,447 in 2020, and 223,498 between January and September 2021 alone.