Pretoria: Special Envoy Cyril Ramaphosa is in South Sudan to start his mediation efforts aimed at finding a lasting political solution in the war-torn country.
The Deputy Chairperson of the National Planning Commission and Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC) was named the Special Envoy to South Sudan during the State of the Nation Address by President Jacob Zuma last month.
He will also visit some countries belonging to the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). IGAD countries include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. He will be back in the country next week Thursday.
Ramaphosa’s appointment to the post came at the request of President Salva Kiir Mayardit for assistance in bringing about peace and reconciliation in that country.
Thousands of people are believed to have been killed and some 870 000 others have fled their homes: 145 000 of them to neighbouring countries and 75 000 to United Nations bases within the country. Fighting broke out in December last year between the forces of President Kiir and former Deputy President Riek Machar.
Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, South Africa has been actively supporting the African Union Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) projects in Sudan under the umbrella of the AU Ministerial Committee, which South Africa currently chairs.
To date, South Africa has trained more than 1 600 officials from the Government of South Sudan as part of a capacity-building programme taking place within the context of the PCRD in areas such as policing, diplomacy, public service, justice, education, mineral affairs and correctional service.
Last year, South Africa and Sudan signed an agreement establishing bilateral relations between the two countries. They have also upgraded their diplomatic missions to ambassadorial level.
SOURCE: South African Official News