SA to continue with peace efforts in Sudan

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pretoria - South Africa is to continue with efforts to build peace in the restive western Sudanese region of Darfur, says the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

"We have ideas and previous experience in how to resolve conflicts and internal disputes, and we are ready to submit these ideas to Sudan," Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba said.

He stressed South Africa's readiness to continue its peace efforts in the Darfur region, saying "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."

However, South Africa has concerns about implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) as well as the state of preparedness for the forthcoming April 2010 Elections.

His comment comes soon after an African Union panel had handed over a report aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in that region, last Thursday.

Headed by the former president Thabo Mbeki, he said the resolution of the conflict in Sudan/ Darfur had to be brought about by the Sudanese people themselves and cannot be imposed from outside.

But the contents of the hefty document were being kept secret pending a special Darfur summit to be attended by African heads of state in Abuja, Nigeria at a date yet to be announced.

South Africa has long been seized with assisting the Sudanese to find lasting peace in that country. It also assists the Southern Sudanese in capacity building programmes for government institutions as well as training of the police.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Jean Ping, has welcomed the high level peace talks being held between Chad and Sudan.

"He welcomes the decision to hold further consultations in Khartoum as soon as possible. He particularly appreciates the shared commitment of both countries to effectively promote relations of good neighbourliness and cooperation, on a sustainable and mutually beneficial basis," said the commission in a statement.

Ping expressed the hope that those efforts will lead to a meeting at the highest level, and will concretely open a new chapter in the relations between Chad and Sudan, in support for peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

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