Deputy President Mashatile concludes working visit to South Sudan

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Deputy President Mashatile concludes working visit to South Sudan

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has concluded a successful working visit on Thursday to South Sudan.

The purpose of the visit was to assess the latest developments and progress in the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

Deputy President Mashatile concludes working visit to South Sudan

Deputy President Mashatile concludes working visit to South Sudan

This is where they discussed challenges to the peace process, and discussed solutions with all stakeholders.

“A second, but critical objective of the Deputy President’s visit was to strengthen long-standing bilateral relations between South Africa and South Sudan,” the Deputy President’s Office said.

During his visit, the Deputy President, as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Special Envoy to South Sudan, met with President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

“President Salva Kiir raised concern regarding the implications that the ongoing conflict may have in neighbouring countries and the region at large.”

He outlined the challenges hindering the implementation of the R-ARCSS and reemphasised the need for South Africa to be more involved in the peace process by assisting the various parties to resolve their disputes.

Deputy President Mashatile also held talks with four of South Sudan’s five Vice Presidents.

“In the main, the Vice Presidents acknowledged remaining gaps and challenges to the full implementation of the R-ARCSS including lack of required financial resources, the arms embargo and sanctions imposed on the government of South Sudan by the United Nations (UN).”

Despite this, the Vice Presidents also appreciated that notable milestones had been achieved on the road to lasting peace.

“A key milestone to the achievement of peace in South Sudan is the holding of the country’s first democratic elections since its independence in 2011.

“Holding this founding election is a goal whose importance is acknowledged by all the participants in South Sudan’s ongoing national dialogue.”

The Deputy President had engagements with various Ministers in charge of critical portfolios and also spoke to Cabinet Affairs and the High-Level Standing Committee for the Implementation of the R-ARCSS.

The country’s second-in-command also held extensive consultations with regional and global multilateral formations with a role to play in resolving the conflict in the country.

Among these were the African diplomatic corps in Juba, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-East Africa Regional Economic Community (IGAD), Troika- Ambassadors of the USA, United Kingdom and Norway, the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

“Deputy President Mashatile commended South Sudan on the progress made thus far and reaffirmed South Africa’s support for the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU).”

Additionally, he called on strengthened commitment by the RTGoNU and all other relevant parties to the R-ARCSS to implement its outstanding provisions, particularly the security arrangements.

These include community disarmament, demobilisation of ex-combatants and their reintegration into peaceful civilian life, and the integration of remaining combatant forces into a national force with a single command structure.

“Failure to find common ground on these and other contentious points will keep South Sudan in limbo, and its economic development as well as the development of its people will be stillborn.”

During his three-day stay, the Deputy President also took time to lay a wreath at the Dr John Garang Mausoleum in honour of South Sudan’s founding leader, and bestowed medals on the South African Police Service (SAPS) contingent stationed in the country as part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission.

In his last act before departure, the Deputy President paid a courtesy call on two of South Sudan’s Elders and veterans of liberation.

“In conclusion, Deputy President Mashatile made a call to all parties to adhere to the revised deadlines of the roadmap to a peaceful and democratic end to the current transitional period and the holding of national elections by December 2024 as envisaged.” – SAnews



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