South African VP arrives in Nairobi ahead of South Sudan peace meeting

South African vice president David Mabuza arrived in Kenya on Thursday to begin a visit to East Africa, which will also see him visit Sudan and Uganda.

South African vice president David Mabuza arrived in Nairobi on Thursday to begin his three-state visit to the East African region in line with the South African government’s efforts to facilitate peace in South Sudan.

Mabuza’s trip will see him visit Kenya, Uganda and Sudan, all of whom are members of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which has been routing for peace in the world’s youngest nation.

In his capacity as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s envoy, Mabuza will hold consultative meetings with President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), President Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) as well as President Omar Al Bashir (Sudan).

“This working visit builds on the October 2018 consultations with IGAD member states. The Deputy President will also strengthen political, social and economic relations between South Africa and these three IGAD members,” said the Presidency in a statement.

South Sudan has been dogged by war since December 2013, sparked by a feud between President Salva Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar.

The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions others, prompting the United Nations to rank South Sudan as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis, coming third worldwide after Syria and Afghanistan.

IGAD, alongside international actors have been calling for dialogue between the warring factions as a way of pacifying the country.

Dialogue between the sides culminated to a peace deal in August, which created a unity government and is hoped will lead to a presidential election.