1 April 2011

Sudan: AU Ministerial Delegation in Post-Conflict Assessment Visit

Juba — A 15 member technical team of the African Union (AU) ministerial committee on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) has embarked on a one-week visit to assess the needs of the population in various states of South Sudan.

The team, headed by South Africa's Siphamandla Zondi, comprises of individuals selected from nine different African countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and the Sudan.

Addressing the media at Juba airport on arrival, Zondi reiterated the team's dedicated commitment to work, in consultation with both governments, to systematically assess the needs and magnitude of post-conflict challenges in Sudan after long years of civil war.

"We believe it's our mandate, as members of the AU ministerial committee on post-conflict reconstruction and development to assess the needs of the population in the country. The delegation will work closely with the international community, development partners and local leaders to identify steps that can be taken to address these post-conflict issues," Zondi said.

As part of their mission, he remarked, the delegation will visit the greater Bahr el Ghazal region, Jonglei and Western Equatoria states, among others. The team, he added, will mainly focus on the most critical issues affecting the population. He also expected to discuss the contentious border issue between north and South Sudan.

The AU-initiated ministerial PCRD was established in 2003 to, among other things, mobilise, as broadly as possible, African support for post-conflict reconstruction. As part of the initiative, member countries develop a guide for the development of comprehensive policies and strategies that seek to consolidate peace and promote sustainable development in post-conflict countries.

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