Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Wednesday 3 June 2015, concluded a three-day working visit to Kenya and South Sudan during which he hailed steps taken to reunite the ruling party Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) South Sudan and to end the war in this country.
Deputy President Ramaphosa departed from Juba, South Sudan, earlier today following a visit to Juba during which five Nairobi-based members of the Former Detainees group of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) returned to their home country for the first time since December 2013.
The group has been based in Nairobi since December 2013 when divisions within South Sudan’s ruling party gave rise to war within the country.
On the mission to Juba, Deputy President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Mr Abdulrahman Kinana, Secretary-General of Tanzania’s ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, and the Foreign Ministers of Kenya and Ethiopia. CCM and the African National Congress are co-guarantors of efforts to reunite and rebuild the ruling party of South Sudan.
During the Juba visit, Deputy President Ramaphosa held discussions with President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, co-guarantors of the peace process and the returning SPLM – Former Detainees group. This group also held separate discussions with structures of the SPLM in government in Juba.
At a dinner hosted on Tuesday, 2 June 2015, in honour of the visiting delegation including the returning Former Detainees, Deputy President Ramaphosa said the mission to Juba wanted to ensure that “peace reigns and the guns of war are silenced once and for all”.
The Deputy President said the return by Former Detainees for discussions with their SPLM colleagues had been a “most historic occasion to welcome back your own comrades into South Sudan”. He said reconciliation based on peace and the rebuilding of South Sudan and the SPLM was within reach.
“The historical task of revolutionaries is not to continue a war that is senseless and useless the historic task is to seek peace and instill it in the hearts of our people. Let bygones be bygones let anger and grievance (take a back seat) in our search for peace,” Deputy President Ramaphosa urged. He assured the people of South Sudan that South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda would remain at their side in their quest for peace.
The visit to South Sudan by Deputy President Ramaphosa came against the background of regional efforts aimed at cementing lasting peace in South Sudan and consolidating gains made with the signing of the Reunification Agreement in Arusha, Tanzania early this year.
The Reunification Agreement was signed by the various factions of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) and is aimed at addressing political, organisational and leadership issues, the source of political crisis in the SPLM and conflict in South Sudan.
On Monday, 1 June, 2015, Deputy President Ramaphosa paid a courtesy call on Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, attended Kenya’s Madaraka (Independence) Day celebrations and held a meeting with SPLM (Former Detainees).
On Wednesday, 3 June, 2015, Deputy President Ramaphosa held discussions with South Sudan Vice-President Wani Igga, who, upon Mr Ramaphosa’s departure from Juba Airport, said the visit had signaled “a new chapter” in the South Sudan peace process. Before his departure, Deputy President Ramaphosa also met with Kenyan Foreign Minister Ms Amina Mohamed.
Source : South African Government