South Sudan National Dialogue ‘Blueprint’ should take center stage –SA Deputy President
South Africa Deputy President H.E David Mabuza said in a meeting today that his country backs the work of the South Sudan National Dialogue Steering Committee and solicits any request of assistance that the body may have.
“I want to say up front that I support this initiative,” H.E Mabuza told ND leadership at the meeting at the Juba Pyramid Hotel.
The Deputy President was accompanied by a delegation that included the South African Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E Gordon M. Yekelo.
National Dialogue Deputy Co-Chair Hon. Gabriel Yoal, Rapporteur Bona Malwal Madut, Deputy Rapporteurs Dr. Amb. Francis M. Deng and Hon. William Othown, and Hon. Mary Bicensio Wani, represented the ND leadership at the meeting.
H.E Mabuza’s two-day visit comes on the heels of the recently signed Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS, which holds promise of ending bloodletting in the country.
In his capacity as Special Envoy of his President, H.E Cyril Ramaphosa, H.E Mabuza is set to visit Sudan, Uganda and Kenya to shore up regional support for the peace process as well as gage their thinking about the agreement, he said.
While in Sudan, he intends to meet rebel leader Riek Machar, he said.
To the National Dialogue Leadership, the Special Envoy urged the team to be “convinced about correctness” of their mission and vision before they could persuade others to join the process.
He said that he would make it a point to “converge” the processes of the National Dialogue and the peace process so that they work in synergy with one another.
H.E Mabuza also stressed that the National Dialogue should draw up a ‘blueprint’ and advocate for it widely, through a mouthpiece to facilitate debate and muster full consensus of key constituents including youth, women and others.
As the Special Envoy to H.E President Ramaphosa, who was active in South Sudan peace process as Deputy President, H.E Mabuza pledged to act as a ‘catalyst’ and “add, not delete” and “enhance National Dialogue so that it can work,” he said.
“You’ll see more and more of me (within 3-4 weeks to come) if God permits,” he added.
The Deputy President said that South Sudan should take a page out of South Africa’s painful history, which culminated with setting up of a truth and reconciliation commission, a similar initiative with the National Dialogue.
“The National Dialogue should take center stage and come up with positive narrative of hope and better tomorrow,” he concluded.