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South Africa promises support for peace, elections in South Sudan

By Adia Jildo

Visiting South African deputy president, Paul Mashatile has promised support toward the ongoing peace process to enable the South Sudan transitional government hold elections in December 2024.

Mashatile arrived in Juba on Monday to start his four-day itinerary, and he is expected to meet President Salva Kiir, First Vice President Riek Machar and other leaders to discuss implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace deal and also business and bilateral ties between the two countries.

“I am here as an envoy of President Cyril Ramaphosa, ready to continue with our relationship with South Sudan. We will be having a number of meetings with the vice Presidents and other leaders,” he told journalists in Juba.

Mashatile is accompanied by the minister of international relations and cooperation, Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor.

The deputy president also noted that Pretoria is willing to help South Sudan join the grouping of developed countries that include Brazil, Russia, India and China and South Africa (BRICS).

The BRICS Summit that recently concluded in South Africa admitted Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Ethiopia to the group.

 Mashatile said many African leaders want to be part of BRICS.

“We welcome them but there is a process that is formed over time,” he said.

South Sudan’s vice president for economic cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga, said the visit of the South African deputy president is a follow up on the discussions held with President Salva Kiir during the BRICS summit.

“They had a lot of casual bilateral talks not only with Cyril but also with the other leaders who had come to attend the historic forum,” Wani said.

He said the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had been a close friend to South Sudan during the long decades struggle for independence from Sudan.

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