Praises for South Sudan

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pretoria - The declaration of South Sudan as an independent state was a historic moment for the entire African continent, says Justice Minister Jeff Radebe.

"The 9th of July will go down in history as a significant day when the world witnessed the closure of one of the most painful chapters in the lives of Sudanese. The day equally marked a new beginning filled with hope and expectations as South Sudan became a new independent and sovereign state," the minister said during a United Nations Security Council Debate on the situation in Sudan.

Radebe complimented the leadership of both the North and the South for their commitment to the successful implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which was signed in 2005.

He singled out President Al Bashir and President Salva Kiir Mayardit, congratulating them for their exceptional leadership since the signing of the CPA.

"We hope that the independence of South Sudan will serve as an inspiration to millions of oppressed peoples across the globe, who continue to suffer under occupation and colonialism," Radebe said.

South Africa was also aware of the numerous challenges the new state already faces, he added.

South Sudan is one of the most underdeveloped and poverty-stricken nations in the world.

Radebe was confident that the bravery and courage the people of South Sudan showed during their struggle for independence would pull them through as they address the socio-economic challenges that still lay ahead

On the political front, Radebe noted that there were still key outstanding issues of the CPA that needed to be addressed.

"These include the final status of Abyei and the continuing tensions in Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile. We should not allow these outstanding issues to reverse the gains registered thus far," he said.

Resolving these outstanding issues would help consolidate peace and stability in the two Sudanese states, Radebe added.

"We will continue to support the efforts of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel under the leadership of former President Mbeki to assist the two States to resolve all the outstanding issues without delay," he said.

South Africa also welcomed the Resolution adopted last week by the Security Council to establish a new UN Mission in South Sudan.

The mission will play a significant role in supporting the new state in laying a foundation for sustainable development," he said.

South Africa has also committed itself to helping the new state and Sudan, Radebe added.

"South Africa will continue to assist with the means at our disposal in building on the Technical Capacity Building programmes of the past five years. The sister peoples of both South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan can continue to count on our support to help build and consolidate lasting peace and stability in that part of our continent," he said.