Chabane wishes Ethiopia well on its national day

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pretoria - Minister in The Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, has wished Ethiopia well as that country marked the National Day of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

May 28 commemorates the end of the Derg junta in 1991. The Derg was a military junta that ruled Ethiopia between 1974 to 1987, taking power following the ousting of Haile Selassie I. Derg, which means "committee" or "council" in the language Ge'ez, is the short name of the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police and Territorial Army.

"I wish to, on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, government and the people of South Africa, congratulate the government and people of Ethiopia on this occasion and wish them all the best for the future," said Chabane.

The minister said the two countries have a long-standing relationship, which was forged during the "difficult times of the liberation struggle".

"It was Ethiopia who provided crucial support to the ANC when the organisation embarked on an armed struggle and offered military training to the first Umkhonto we Sizwe cadres... Our relations with Ethiopia and its people only grew from strength to strength since then, as Ethiopia is to us an anchor state in its region and continues to play a role in IGAD amongst the East African States," said Chabane.

The second South Africa-Ethiopia Joint Ministerial Commission was held on 17 April in Addis Ababa. This meeting was preceded by a meeting of senior officials on 15 -16 April. The meeting was co-chaired by the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hailemariam Desalegn.

The two foreign Ministers agreed on a package of enhanced cooperation on issues related to multilateralism, regional security, economic and trade matters and signed an Implementation Plan to ensure that agreements and identified projects are operationalized.