CAPE TOWN (South Africa), Jan 24 — South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has returned to Johannesburg after witnessing the signing of a pact on the reunification of South Sudan’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Tanzania.
The ceremony, which was held in Arusha, was attended by three factions of the SPLM which have been engulfed in conflict since December 2013.
Ramaphosa had participated in the Intra-SPLM Dialogue Summit and final stages of consultations with President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and former Deputy President Riek Machar as well as the leaders of neighbouring Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
Ramaphosa’s spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said the SPLM intra-party dialogue was facilitated by Tanzania’s ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) and the National Resistance Movement of Uganda.
The signing ceremony was hosted by President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania.
The Arusha Agreement commits the SPLM to rebuilding and democratising the movement internally in order to promote national harmony and end the conflict afflicting the people of South Sudan, the newest state in the international community.
The Arusha Agreement recognises the collective responsibility within the SPLM for the conflict in South Sudan and calls for a public apology to this effect by all SPLM groups.
The agreement commits the movement to expediting efforts to end the war and to enhance the values and culture of democracy, unity and development.
Ramaphosa paid tribute to Tanzania as a nation that inspired others to secure peace.
“This is a big night for peace in our continent. Tonight is Africa’s peace night. We expect this agreement will silence the guns that have been raging in South Sudan; that it will silence the guns of death, destruction and the displacement of thousands and thousands of people in South Sudan,” he said.