SA congratulates South Sudan on independence

2011-07-09 10:39

The South African government today congratulated the new Republic of South Sudan on its independence.

“South Africa will continue to support efforts aimed at ensuring a peaceful and stable environment in South Sudan that will create conditions for the entrenchment of democracy and the development of government institutions for the betterment of the people of South Sudan,” the department of international relations said.

The department said the day was a historic moment, fulfilling the wishes of the people of South Sudan.

“The independence of the Republic of South Sudan marks the beginning of a new journey during which South Sudan institutions must work together to consolidate democracy, government and parliamentary institutions, and address the pressing challenges that the country face.”

The department noted that the new republic had met all the requirements in international law to be declared a sovereign state and welcomed South Sudan as the 54th state of Africa.

President Jacob Zuma, who was attending celebrations in Juba today, also praised the role his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, played in helping bring about an end to conflict.

“President Mbeki is a man of integrity and enormous experience,” Zuma was quoted saying in a statement, issued during his visit to Sudan this week.

“He was part of the leadership that brought about change in South Africa, which will enable him to assist the people of the Sudan even further to find solutions.”

Mbeki headed the African Union’s high-level implementation panel, which helped ensure a peaceful solution to Sudan’s conflict.

Zuma began his visit in Khartoum yesterday evening to express South Africa’s support to the north and to strengthen bilateral relations and co-operation.

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