South Africa: Meeting On South Sudanese Boundaries Reaches a Stalemate

A consultative meeting chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza on South Sudan's contentious issue of the number of states and their boundaries has reached a stalemate.

The purpose of the Deputy President's visit was to facilitate a consultative meeting of the Parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.

The Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan called for agreement by consensus on the number and boundaries of states that are appropriate for the Republic of South Sudan.

However, at the end of the process by the Independent Boundaries Committee, the parties could not agree on the number and boundaries of states.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) had called on Deputy President Mabuza as one of the Special Envoys on South Sudan to facilitate the Consultative Meeting of the Parties, so that a political solution to the impasse could be found.

The resolution of this issue of the number of states and their boundaries, will pave the way towards the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity within the current extended time of pre-transition.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Deputy President's office described the meeting as cordial and that it was held in the spirit of coming to a workable solution on principles guiding the decision on the number of states and their boundaries for the North African country.

Deputy President Mabuza and other Special Envoys who joined him in facilitating the Consultative Meeting of Parties, were pleased by the commitment of the party negotiators to finding solutions that respond to the unique reality of South Sudan.

"We entered this meeting with a number of ideals, foremost being ensuring that peace and development reigns in South Sudan. It was therefore encouraging for me to sit around the table with parties with strong and divergent views, willing to shift from their original positions where necessary, for the sake of peace in their country," said Deputy President Mabuza.

The consultative meeting was adjourned and will reconvene within the next two weeks to allow the parties to make consultations with their principals and constituencies where necessary and to conduct further negotiations among themselves.

"Of great importance, is the vote of confidence vested in South Africa by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, to play a meaningful role in assisting the peace process. As South Africa, we are grateful for this vote of confidence. South Sudan people deserve peace and space to realise their development potential. Finding lasting peace and silencing the guns in line with the priorities of the African Union, remains our priority," said the Deputy President.

As part of the confidence building exercise, South Africa will host the parties for a retreat.

In addition, South Africa will continue to provide support to the Government and people of South Sudan, through agreed mechanisms and instruments.

The Deputy President arrived in Juba, South Sudan, on Monday at the invitation of IGAD.

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