SA troops to remain in Sudan

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pretoria - South Africa will continue to maintain its troop deployment in Darfur and will further assist through bilateral mechanisms in contributing to the attainment of peace in the Sudanese capital, South Africa's Ambassador Baso Sangqu said.

He was speaking at the UN Security Council following the adoption of a resolution on the Renewal of the AU/UN Operation in Darfur.

Sangqu said the presence of UN peace keeping mission, UNAMID, in Darfur was crucial, given that its mandate included the protection of civilians and the facilitation of a Darfur peace process.

"It is for this reason that my delegation voted in favour of resolution 2003, extending the mandate of UNAMID for a further 12 months," he said.

The people of Sudan took the courageous leap towards resolving their decades long conflict recently following the inauguration of the new State of South Sudan.

"As we celebrate this achievement, we equally hope that the people of Darfur, who have been denied peace for too long are able to garner this positive momentum and move rapidly towards peace. Every effort must be employed to ensure that peace and stability is advanced.

"South Africa welcomes the conclusion of the Doha Peace Process (DPP). It is indeed a step in the right direction in building peace in Darfur. To make this process inclusive, we look forward to the launch of the Darfur Political Process which is complimentary to the Doha Document For Peace In Darfur (DDPD)," said Sangqu.

He added that the African Union meeting at its highest level in Malabo recently, has endorsed the launch of the DDPD as a process which, from the perspective of the African Union, was "the best opportunity to consolidate gains made so far".

South Africa expressed its full and unequivocal support to the AU High Level Implementation Panel, with the support of UNAMID to launch the DPP.