SA pushes for peace in Sudan's Darfur

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Khartoum - South Africa is to continue with efforts to build peace in the restive western Sudanese region of Darfur, says visiting Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane.

Nkoana-Mashabane on Tuesday had talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on relations between the two countries, the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between northern and southern Sudan and the Darfur crisis.

She told reporters at the end of the meeting that her country was willing to help the Sudanese government to overcome all difficulties and to settle all political disputes and armed conflicts.

"We have ideas and previous experience in how to resolve conflicts and internal disputes, and we are ready to submit these ideas to our brothers in Sudan if they want it because we do not wish to impose on them any options," she said.

She stressed her country's readiness to continue its peace efforts in the Darfur region, saying that "we have a wide participation in the United Nations-African Union joint peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), and we are ready to continue all the efforts conducive to peace in Darfur."

Meanwhile, Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor said the meeting focused on the bilateral relations and what South Africa can offer in implementing the CPA and resolving the Darfur issue.

He hoped that South Africa could play a role in convincing the southern Sudanese to vote for the unity option, adding that "South Africa has had bitter experience which differs from our own experience in Sudan, but was able to overcome this experience with tolerance."

Nkoana-Mashabane is expected to return to South Africa on Thursday ahead of the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York from 21 - 25 September 2009.