S. African deputy president arrives in S. Sudan on peace mission

Deputy President David Mabuza, in his capacity as special envoy to South Sudan, has embarked on a peace mission to the war-torn country, the Presidency said on Monday.

Mabuza’s mission is to chair a consultative meeting of parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), signed last year, the Presidency said.

The meeting, scheduled for Dec. 2-3 in Juba, is preceded by the 13th Ordinary Summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Nov. 29 as part of efforts to mediate a resolution to the conflict in South Sudan.

While in Juba, Mabuza is expected to join IGAD heads of state in urging the parties to the R-ARCSS to accomplish the pre-transitional tasks within the current extended window of 100 days, and for the signatories to form the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity by the end of the extended period.

“We are hopeful that this consultative meeting will result in consensus on the remaining issues that led to the extension of the pre-transitional period,” Mabuza said before leaving for Juba.

He voiced belief that all the signatories to the agreement want what is best for South Sudan and its people.

“Because of that concern for the people and the prosperity of South Sudan, these parties must reach a conclusion on the number of states and their boundaries to pave a way for the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity and ultimately bring lasting peace and stability in South Sudan,” said Mabuza.

Shortly after its independence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan plunged into civil war. At least 300,000 people are estimated to have died since late 2013, some 1.8 million people are displaced internally and 2.5 million others have fled to neighboring countries.

Last year, all parties involved in the conflict signed the R-ARCSS, seen as a milestone toward a peaceful resolution.