International relations

SA calls for assistance for Sudan

27 September 2010

South Africa has called on the international community to redouble its efforts in support of peace in the Sudan, and to ensure that a scheduled referendum in that country is held in a peaceful environment.

This comes after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon organised a high-level meeting on Sudan on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday.

The meeting took place as Sudan prepares to hold a referendum on self-determination for South Sudan.

"As South Africa we would like to pledge our full support to the referendum process in the Sudan, and we are willing to render any necessary assistance within our capacities through our Independent Electoral Commission to the Sudanese that would enhance their work in readying themselves for the referenda," said International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

"Furthermore, as the international community, we must commit to respect the outcome of the referendum, whether it be for unity or secession."

Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Nkoana-Mashabane further commended both the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) for the strides they had made in implementing the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The peace agreement was signed in 2005, and this year marks the fifth anniversary of the document that ended Africa's longest-running civil war.

She said that while there were still a few challenges within the agreement, South Africa remained confident that the challenges would be addressed before January, and that the referendum will be held on time.

South Africa's engagement in the Sudan has always been motivated by the desire to ensure peace, security and stability prevail in the largest country on the continent.

Nkoana-Mashabane said the restoration of peace, security and stability in the Sudan would have positive effects not only on the nine countries bordering the Sudan, but on the region and the continent as a whole.

"In support of peace, we have contributed military and police personnel to the AU/UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). We therefore call on the international community to render the necessary support to UNAMID in order for the mission to be able to undertake its duties," she said.

Institution building

South Africa has also launched a project to train Sudanese officials, particularly those in the south, with the skills needed to administer and deliver basic services to people.

To date, more than 1 000 officials from the government of Southern Sudan have been trained in South Africa.

Many of the projects have been conducted in line with South Africa's mandate as chair of the African Union ministerial committee on post-conflict reconstruction and development of the Sudan.

Source: BuaNews


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