Deputy President Paul Mashatile has emphasised that South Africa is committed to supporting all regional and continental initiatives to silence the guns on the continent, in support of Agenda 2063.

“We will continue to support the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and African Union-led initiatives aimed at ensuring peace and prosperity in South Sudan and the Horn of Africa,” Mashatile said.

The Deputy President was briefing Members of Parliament in the National Assembly on efforts to find lasting peace for the people of South Sudan, among other issues.

Supported by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, the Deputy President undertook a working visit to the Republic of South Sudan on Aug 29-31.

He said the visit to South Sudan enabled him to familiarise himself with the South Sudan peace process and its challenges.

The Deputy President held extensive and fruitful discussions with President Salva Kiir Mayardit and met with the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan and leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition, Dr Riek Machar; Vice President Taban Deng Gai; Vice President Dr. James Wani and Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi, among other stakeholders.

During these discussions, Mashatile highlighted that the key issue Sudanese actors and others raised was the need to fully implement the Transitional Security Arrangements contained in Chapter 2 of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.

“The South Sudanese have requested assistance from South Africa in this area, and the Departments of Defence and Police will be consulted regarding assistance in implementing Chapter 2, including a holistic Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration process.

“South Africa is committed to supporting South Sudan to conclude the implementation of the revitalised transitional phase to hold peaceful national elections by December 2024,” the Deputy President said.

Mashatile told MPs that another outstanding issue is the promulgation of electoral and political party legislation to enable the reconstitution of electoral institutions such as the National Elections Commission (NEC) of South Sudan.

To prepare for the organisation of national elections by December 2024, he said, the NEC will require capacity building and training for its officials. In addition, it was noted that substantial electoral funding will be required, particularly if national, provincial and local elections will take place simultaneously.

South Sudan is due to undertake a permanent constitution-making process under Chapter 6 of the R-ARCSS.

The Deputy President noted that this process attaches with substantial legal work and is necessarily time-consuming.

He said a broader nationwide consultative process must still be undertaken to build on the modest work already commenced.

South Sudan further requires assistance with Transitional Justice matters and Judicial Reconstitution and Reforms under Chapter 5 of R-ARCSS, which focuses on Transitional Justice, Accountability, Reconciliation and Healing.

“South Africa has been requested to share our Truth and Reconciliation Commission experience as South Sudan prepares to undergo its national reconciliation and healing journey. They are also intent on establishing a Compensation and Reparation Authority and an independent Hybrid Court of South Sudan with support and assistance from the African Union,” the Deputy President said

Source: Nam News Network

News Reporter