Ministers wrap up Sudan visit

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Juba - International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana Mashabane, and Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, concluded their official visit to Sudan on Thursday.

The three-day visit by the ministers was part of efforts aimed at strengthen relations between South Africa and Sudan.

"South Africa also sought to evaluate progress on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) as well as assess the state of preparedness for the forthcoming April 2010 Elections," Minister Nkoana Mahabane's office said in a statement.

Since 2003, South Africa has chaired the African Union Ministerial Committee on Post Conflict and Reconstruction and Development of the Sudan.

Whilst in Sudan, the ministers paid courtesy calls on both President Omar El Bashir as well as Lieutenant General Salva Kirr Mayardit, the President of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) who is also the President of the Government of Southern Sudan and First Vice President of Sudan.

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

Both Nkoana Mahabane and Chabane met with their counterparts in the fields of Regional Integration, Labour and Internal Affairs as well as Judge Abel Alier, Chairperson of the Sudanese National Electoral Commission.

Nkoana Mashabane proposed the establishment of a Political Consultative Forum between South Africa, Southern Sudan and Sudan aimed at opening lines of dialogue between the three parties and assisting them towards the acceleration of the outstanding areas in the key provisions of the CPA,