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President Ramaphosa Highlights South Africa’s Role in Supporting Peace and Democracy in South Sudan

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has reaffirmed the government's strong inclination towards spurring the nation's development through extensive investment in infrastructure, positing such endeavours as pivotal for South Africa’s future growth.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed pride in South Africa’s influence and support towards helping fellow African nations navigate the arduous journey from conflict to democratic reconstruction. Following his recent working visit to South Sudan, the President underscored the parallels between South Africa’s historical struggles and those of South Sudan; both nations striving to build cohesive societies from the remnants of divisive conflicts.

South Sudan, recently coming out of its own civil strife, has stepped into independence, mirroring a path once taken by South Africa. “Much like our own experience as South Africa, the people of South Sudan were faced with the task of constructing a new nation in the midst of conflict and social divisions, all the while contending with a legacy of racial discrimination and oppression,” President Ramaphosa reflected on the shared histories.

The northeast African country’s emergence as an independent nation, while commendable, has not come without its trials. “The incoming government of the newly independent country of South Sudan had to build an economy and institutional capacity from the ashes of their sad past,” he added, acknowledging the steep hurdles the nation has had to overcome.

With South Africa stepping forth to assist when internal strife engulfed South Sudan, efforts were crowned with the signing of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan in 2018. This agreement, continuously upheld, marks a significant stride towards maintaining peace and renegotiating national security, with former combatants moving towards the formation of a united national defence force.

“The political and legal framework that is being implemented outlines the aspirations of the people of South Sudan to bring a permanent end to armed conflict, consolidate democracy and determine their collective destiny”, President Ramaphosa emphasized, lauding the steadfast commitment to a peaceful resolution.

As South Sudan gears up for impending elections—seen as a pivotal step in the democratic process—Ramaphosa highlighted the nation’s preparatory progress, from establishing electoral bodies to registering political parties. His working visit fostered discussions with key South Sudanese leaders and representatives from international bodies, all dedicated to ensuring the forthcoming elections embody fairness and credibility.

“This proves that the adage, ‘African solutions for African problems’, is truly at work in South Sudan. The best we can all do is to encourage and support the process,” he commended, expressing optimism about the nation’s democratic journey.

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