Issue 373 | 25 April 2019
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President Cyril Ramaphosa on 23 April 2019 undertook a Working Visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt to attend an Emergency African Union (AU) Troika Summit convened to discuss the political and security situations in the Republic of Sudan and Libya.
President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi has called the Emergency Summit in his capacity as Chair of the AU. The AU Troika consists of Egypt as current Chair, South Africa as incoming Chair and Rwanda as outgoing Chair. The summit was also attended by the AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Mahamat Faki, who reported on the AU initiatives undertaken to resolve these crises. Mr Faki has just concluded a visit to Sudan.

South Africa is serving as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2019 to 2020 and these political and security challenges in Libya and Sudan are already before the UNSC.

President Ramaphosa has prioritised regional and continental peace, stability, security, integration and development and attended the Emergency Summit to contribute towards the AU’s stated goal of silencing the guns by 2020.

The President was accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu; Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; and State Security, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba.
On behalf of the South African people and Government, the President of South Africa, Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, has conveyed condolences to the Government and the people of the Republic of Sri Lanka following terrorist bombings over the Easter Weekend that claimed the lives of over 300 people.
The President said the people of South Africa were joined with the people of Sri Lanka during this difficult time. The President condemned the attacks in the strongest terms and emphasised that in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka, South Africa would continue to use its non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council to prioritise the fight against terrorism and extremist groups across the world.

The President also wished a speedy recovery to those injured in these horrific attacks.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and record-breaking athlete Caster Semenya have been named among "TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019".
The annual prestigious list, published by the international magazine, includes TIME’s “most influential pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons of 2019”.

President Ramaphosa was named in the Leaders Category alongside America’s President Donald Trump and Swedish schoolgirl and climate activist Greta Thunberg. Semenya was named in the Icons category, alongside America’s former First Lady, Michelle Obama, and singer Lady Gaga.

Other inclusions from Africa include Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Egypt’s football star Mohamed Salah.

– Source:
South Africa has joined the solidarity expressed to France following the catastrophic fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
"We join the people of France in grieving this tragic loss of the 12th century heritage building and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country," said International Relations Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu.

"We also wish them great success in the rebuilding of this iconic part of France’s culture and history."

Parts of the cathedral were destroyed in a massive blaze. Hundreds of firefighters eventually put the fire out.

The spire collapsed dramatically but the facade and two main towers survived.

A massive fundraising drive is under way with plans to rebuild it. Reports say that many of the precious artefacts are thought to have been saved before the blaze really took hold.

– Source:
South Africa has emphasised the country’s belief that violence against women is a serious crime that warrants more urgent and decisive action by the international community.
South Africa has called on members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to work in concert to comprehensively deal with violence against women, which is one of the most pervasive human rights violations during times of conflict.

Delivering the country’s statement during the open debate on Women, Peace and Security: Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Deputy Director-General for Global Governance of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi, challenged the UNSC to prioritise “gender-sensitive responses and programmes” aimed at addressing the needs of women and girls who are victims of sexual violence.

“South Africa firmly believes that essential services must be provided to the survivors of sexual violence. In line with our long-held position that sexual and reproductive health services are not only an important component of the right to health, they are critical for the overall empowerment of women. In the context of sexual violence in conflict, the lack of access to these services threatens the most sacrosanct of all human rights, namely, the right to life itself”, said Ambassador Nkosi.

“Due to the inextricable link between sexual violence in conflict situations and gender inequality, South Africa, therefore, advocates for the equal and meaningful participation and full involvement of women in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. Our efforts in peace and security are diminished while women continue to be under siege and at the receiving end of sexual violence”, added Ambassador Nkosi.

The debate on Women, Peace and Security is also expected to be a topical subject during South Africa’s Presidency of the UNSC in October 2019 in line with South Africa’s priorities during its term as an elected member of the council.
The year 2019 marks South Africa’s silver jubilee and, as the young democracy marks this milestone, the Department of International Relations (DIRCO) has taken stock of the country’s foreign policy.
In a bid to assess the country’s foreign policy, on 15 May 2018, the department appointed an 11-member review panel chaired by former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Aziz Pahad.

The task of the panel was to assess strengths and weaknesses of South Africa’s current foreign policy trajectory, and advise, as appropriate, on interventions necessary for the country to make a contribution towards a world that is humane, just and equitable for all the people.

During the course of its work, the panel became sensitised to a broad acknowledgement that in the recent past, South Africa has not lived up to its earlier promise.

“The country has not sufficiently played the role it was expected to play, or should have played in engaging a number of international issues.

“There is a general observation that there have been missteps which have reversed earlier gains that the country registered. As a result, strategic opportunities were missed, resulting in a decline of South Africa’s influence regionally, continentally and globally,” the panel said in its report released on Wednesday, 17 April 2019.

As part of charting a new path for South Africa’s foreign policy, the panel highlights the need to leverage technology to improve both efficiency and effectiveness.

“This is particularly because of the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the need to ensure continued relevance of foreign ministries and national coherence in an era where many national actors are involved in foreign policy,” said the panel.

In its review report, the panel reaffirmed South Africa’s support towards the prolonged Palestinian struggle against dispossession and the fragmentation of the State of Palestine.
Turning its focus to the continent, the panel said when South Africa assumed the chair of the African Union from 2020, the African Renaissance would be the driving force for South Africa’s Chairship.

In particular, strengthening of regional economic communities, the Pan-African Parliament, Pan-African Women's Organisation, and programmes such as the New Partnership for Africa's Development and African Peer Review Mechanism should clearly be prioritised.

On Economic Diplomacy, the panel said the country was not using its economic potential and its inherent natural resources optimally.

“Consultations with foreign representatives in South Africa revealed that there are a number of key pillars and initiatives that could be leveraged to make sure that South Africa can better use its resources,” said the panel.

The review report recommended that South African diplomats facilitated the promotion of spreading the message of what the country stood for through cultural work.

“Cultural workers are some of the best conveyers for such messages and DIRCO must fully integrate this work in all diplomatic activities,” the report reads.

– Source:
Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, has encouraged South Africans to assist victims affected by Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
“In the spirit of Ubuntu, let us do our part in rebuilding the affected communities,” Minister Mthethwa said.

The Minister made the call alongside African artists on Tuesday, 16 April 2019, in Tshwane, during a media briefing which outlined support towards the victims of the cyclone.

More than 1 000 people have reportedly died as a result of the storm, the flooding it caused and heavy rains before it hit. The World Bank estimates the affected countries will need over US$2 billion to recover.

The Department of Arts of Culture has joined its sister departments in mobilising donations for the affected people.

“Artists are working towards a benefit concert targeted for 18 May as a daytime family concert to take place at Bez Valley Park,” he said.

The Minister has also urged artists who have not committed to performing at the concert to donate their time and line-up for the concert whose proceeds will be used to provide much-needed essentials for survivors.

“A collection drive in the department offices across all provinces is being arranged. The public will be mobilised to donate non-perishable food items, clothing, potable water, sanitation, toys and medical support,” he said.

The department will use all its platforms to raise awareness of the public about the plight.

“One such event that will be dedicated to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique is the launch of the Africa Month at the beginning of May,” the Minister said.

Announcements will also be made during the SAMA nominees’ announcement on 25 April.

“The three countries’ embassies will be visited and this will be followed by an aid tour with artists and media, where those involved in the project will get to lend a hand on the ground by rolling up their sleeves and helping distribute aid and rebuild communities

“A tree-planting campaign is geared for 1 July 2019 as part of International Reggae Day,” he said.

The Minister has applauded the South African National Defence Force for its efforts to help those who are in need of clean clothes and food.

“We recognise the efforts of the Department of Health in donating medical supplies. We thank the international community and non-governmental organisations from all over the world for responding to the crisis faced by our neighbouring countries.

“We also recognise the efforts of ordinary South Africans who have made donations in assisting our brothers and sisters,” he said.

– Source:
South Africa and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have signed a host government accord to establish an affiliate centre of the WEF's Fourth Industrial Revolution Centre (C4IR).
South Africa will be joining China, India and Japan, which already have affiliate centres.

The C4IR, which is intended to be launched in September in South Aafrica, acts as a hub for global, multi-stakeholder cooperation to develop policy frameworks and advance collaborations that accelerate the benefits of science and technology.

It focusses on issues of local concern and contributes to the overall research and thought leadership processes of the C4IR network.

The South African Government, through the Department of Science and Technology, intends to establish its affiliate centre as a public-private partnership based at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Science and Technology Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, said the establishment of the South African C4IR affiliate centre would provide a platform for stakeholders in South Africa to work together on the evolution of new technologies.

The Minister said it was no longer possible to discuss economic development without factoring in the impact of the 4IR on the economy as a whole.

“Any effort we make as a country to grow our economy will now largely be shaped by how quickly we are able to embrace and master the technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Head of the WEF's C4IR Network, Murat Sönmez, urged South Africa to make sure that 4IR technologies benefitted all communities, particularly the poor. This, he said, was important as technology in the 4IR environment was advancing rapidly.

"South Africa has the potential to contribute to all these developments in the global network and has a seat on the C4IR advisory board, helping to shape what we are intent on achieving. We are therefore looking forward to hosting this affiliate centre in South Africa," Sönmez said.

The CEO of the CSIR, Dr Thulani Dlamini, said the council was ready to partner with the private and public sectors to develop relevant technologies for 4IR.

He said the CSIR's focus areas for 4IR included applying technologies for improved service delivery, training the future workforce and developing and implementing scalable 4IR infrastructure.

– Source:
In a first for the continent, an expert team of doctors in Johannesburg has successfully performed spinal surgery on a foetus who has spina bifida, an abnormality in the development of the spine.
Specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist and specialist in maternal and foetal medicine, Professor Ermos Nicolaou, and his team at Mediclinic Morningside worked with a team of international experts, led by Professor Mike Belfort from the United States, to perform the spinal surgery on the 25-week-old foetus on Saturday, 13 April 2019.

Spina bifida is an abnormality in the foetal spine where part of the vertebrae that form the neural tube fail to close properly. The defect and the subsequent “exposure” of the nerves that run inside the neural tube lead to damage of the nerves and neurological damage.

The delicate and complex operation requires considerable expertise and involves a team of experienced clinicians ranging from maternal and foetal medicine to neurosurgery, anaesthesiologists, neonatologists and specialised neonatal ICU care.

Prof. Belfort and his team have been pioneers in the field of foetal surgery and in particular in the repair of spina bifida in utero.

As was the case of this particular patient, identifying the problem during the pregnancy empowered the prospective parents to inform themselves about the condition and enabled them to make an informed decision about the way forward.

Prof. Nicolaou said parents could choose to terminate the pregnancy or have the baby and have a number of surgeries after delivery to repair the defect on the spine, the brain and the feet, and take measures to improve the problem of incontinence.“The in-utero surgery will provide them with an additional option where a repair can be performed before the baby is born,” he said.

Prof. Nicolaou believes that the repair of spina bifida in utero may stop the inflammatory process that leads to the damage of the nerves and potential abnormalities.

As the operation is performed with tiny instruments through the uterine wall and by not cutting the uterus open, the recovery period is a lot faster and the patient may go on to have a normal vaginal delivery if she wishes. “This is a very delicate surgery and the success varies.

In utero laparoscopic repair can also have complications such as foetal death or premature labour. Careful evaluation and selection of these cases are very important,” Prof. Nicolaou said.

After the immediate post-operative period, close monitoring of both the mother and foetus until delivery will be mandatory. Once the baby is born, the neurosurgeon who was a member of the operating team will assess the baby and decide if further corrective procedures will be required.

“The overall incidence of neural tube defects and spina bifida is around one in 1 000 pregnancies. We have around one million live births in South Africa every year, so we are looking at around 1 000 new cases of neural tube defects every year in our country.

“Our plan is to expand our foetal surgery service to other abnormalities as well,” Prof. Nicolaou said.

“A few examples of what the team would be able to offer are operations on the heart, lungs, abdomen, kidneys and bladder. “One has to be very clear that operations on foetuses will only be considered if the foetal abnormality is so severe that it will lead to foetal death or severe handicap,” Prof. Nicolaou said.

– Source: Cape Times
Privately owned property development company Amdec is optimistic about South Africa's future, and its new R1,5-billion Yacht Club precinct on the Foreshore in Cape Town was a sign of just that, CEO James Wilson told Fin24 at the official unveiling of the completed project on Tuesday, 16 April 2019.
The mixed-use development includes 170 luxury residential apartments, 6 000m² of premium-grade office space and the first AC Hotel by Marriott to open in Africa.

Construction was not without challenges, Wilson said. It is a narrow, long site with little direct access.

For the two years of construction, Amdec had a deal with Portnet to use an access road. Noise levels that could affect surrounding hotels also had to be taken into account.

“Eternally optimistic” about SA

"We are very proud of what we produced here and honoured to be in partnership with Marriott. Our relationship is based on mutual respect and this is the third of the seven-hotel deal we have with them," said Wilson.

"I remain eternally optimistic about South Africa. It has great natural resources, including its people. We must all be more optimistic about our future. We put our money where our mouth is. This R1,5-billion investment in South Africa shows our optimism."

In Wilson's view, the gap the Yacht Club development fills, is the ability for people to live, work and play in the same precinct.

"I think it is an interesting place to live. You can pop down to a restaurant and if you work at one of the offices here, you can use the conference and board room facilities at the hotel as well as the catering," said Wilson.

"That makes it a unique and holistic offering with a focus on security. We are also proud to be neighbours of the V&A Waterfront as it offers our guests the opportunity to walk there or use a free water taxi service."

Wilson is proud that Amdec has aligned with Marriott and sees potential marketing value for Cape Town from tapping into the international hotel group's 73-million-member loyalty programme.

At a 4-star grading, the new hotel will complement all the 5-star hotels already dominating the Foreshore and Waterfront area.

AC by Marriott has very large hotel rooms with great dining and bar facilities, so it is a 5-star experience at a 4-star price," said Wilson.

"Geographically, we are midway between the Waterfront activities, with the Cape Town International Convention Centre just a five-minute walk away. The Westin is also part of the Marriott Group and we trade well with that hotel. With it being 5-star and the AC by Marriott being 4-star, this allows us to cater for large conference packages."

Having developed Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, Amdec plans to bring the same concept to the Cape Town CBD with its R15-billion Harbour Arch precinct. According to Wilson, Amdec has received the site approval for the development and the intention is to start doing some initial ground work in the next month or so.

– Source:
The South African charity Lunchbox Fund raised $30,000 in 10 days after receiving support from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The Royals asked fans to donate to charities such as Lunchbox Fund instead of sending them gifts for the birth of their first child.

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle asked fans to donate to the South African charity Lunchbox Fund, the non-profit raised more than $30,000, or roughly R420 000, in 10 days.

This will allow it to prepare an additional 120 000 meals for the 27 000 children it feeds daily across South Africa, Lunchbox Fund Managing Director, Sue Wildis, told Business Insider South Africa.

Earlier this month, Harry and Meghan requested in an Instagram post that instead of sending them gifts for the birth of their first child, fans should make a donation to one of four charities.

The Lunchbox Fund was on their list, alongside food and clothes bank Little Village HQ in Italy, mental health non-profit WellChild in the United Kingdom and childcare agency Baby2Baby in the United States.

Wildish said they were first contacted by the Duchess’ office on 4 April. A representative said Meghan had seen their work and would like to know more.

After a brief conversation with her staff, Wildish heard back from the Duchess’ office a day later who requested images they could use on social media.

The email from the Duchess’ office read: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are inspired by the work that the Lunchbox Fund does, and would very much like to shine a light on your organisation by highlighting it through their recently set-up Instagram channel.”

Meghan and Harry’s Instagram channel officially launched on 2 April 2019.

– Source:
University of Johannesburg (UJ) official, Nomsa Mahlangu, has been recognised for her contribution to varsity sport by being elected president of the Federation of African University Sports.
The Senior Director of Sport at UJ, Mahlangu won the election with a big majority when it was held in Entebbe, Uganda, last month.

“There were four of us in line for the post, but Ibrahim Bangura from Sierra Leone withdrew on the morning of the election,” said Mahlangu, who became the first woman president of the continental body.

The federation is internationally known as Fédération Africain du Sport Universitaire, and is an associate member of the international body.

Mahlangu will hold office for four years and is looking forward to using the opportunity to improve the standard of university sport on the continent.

“I believe there are some important times ahead of us and our goals going forward are to unite the varsity sportsmen and women in Africa,” said Mahlangu.

“We feel that university sport needs to play a bigger role in using research to improve our overall performances.”

She added that she was honoured to be appointed the first female president of the federation.

“Hopefully, this can pave the way for future developments because there is a need to open doors for more women, to empower them and to encourage them to hold these sorts of positions of responsibility.”

The federation is the governing body of university sport in Africa and was founded in 1971 by 10 African countries to improve the development of university sport on the continent.

-– Source:
Emirates has announced a seasonal increase to its existing daily service to Durban – with four additional flights a week –- effective from 14 June to 4 August 2019.
This is in response to growing demand for travel during this period. The airline says it will also be introducing its award-winning First Class experience on the additional flights.

The additional flights will take place on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From 14 June 2019 until 4 August 2019, B777 flight EK760 will depart Durban at 14:20hrs and arrive in Dubai at 00:40hrs, while the return B777 flight, EK 759 will leave Dubai at 03:20hrs, arriving in Durban at 09:45hrs.

It will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class cabin configuration – offering eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class.

The First Class passenger experience includes a private suite, seats that recline to a full-flat bed and a personal electrically-controlled mini-bar. Features also include touch screen Wireless Integrated Passenger Seat Controllers for Emirates’ In-flight Entertainment (ice) and seat functions, as well a 32”HD LCD screen.

Passengers in every cabin class can access more than 4 000 channels of visual and audio entertainment on the airline’s award-winning ice system, featuring the latest movies, music, audio books and games, as well as family-friendly products and services for children, including complimentary toys, kids’ meals and movies, priority boarding for families and the use of free strollers at Dubai International Airport.

– Source: Traveller24
A much-needed boost to foreign direct investment and tourism has been given the green light with a new direct flight between Cape Town and New York.
Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) recently released a statement saying it welcomes the announcement by United Airlines that they intend launching a new non-stop route between the United States (US) and Cape Town, from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, New York.

If approved by the US Department of Transportation, United’s service between New York/Newark and Cape Town will be operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft featuring 48 seats in United Polaris Business Class, 88 seats in United Economy Plus and 116 seats in United Economy.

This new flight will provide customers with the only non-stop service between the US and Cape Town, shaving four hours off the usual transatlantic journey – linking the city to the important North American market. It is expected to add an estimated R283 million in direct tourism spending to the Cape economy in the first year, according to a Grant Thornton study.

Estimates indicate this will increase by R425 million by 2021. It would also see 890 jobs in the province in the first year of operation.

“We are always looking at ways to expand our industry-leading international route network to offer our customers more convenient options. We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Africa to our global route offering,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s Vice President of International Network.

“This is a game-changer for our region. North America was one of the largest unserved markets for Cape Town and the Western Cape, with the US ranked as the third-largest market for inbound passengers to Cape Town International Airport in 2017”, says Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO.

– Source: Traveller24
South African film, “Stroop – Journey Into the Rhino Horn War”, has been awarded the sought-after Best of Festival Award as well as Best Independent or Feature Film at the International Wildlife Film Festival (IWFF).
The annual festival, held in the United States this past weekend, celebrates wildlife, the environment and people's relationship to wildlife through film. This year saw over 300 films submitted from all over the world, of which 70 films were selected from 36 countries.
“Even if you think you already understand the rhino poaching crisis, Stroop must be seen. It is heartwarming and heartbreaking and the access is unprecedented. The filmmakers are endearing and courageous. It will stay with you long after you finish watching," stated IWFF judges after Stroop's double win.

The local film was up against big budget films from the likes of National Geographic, the BBC, PBS and Netflix which usually dominate the natural history filmmaking landscape. So it was a surprise win for filmmakers, Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod.

Stroop’s reception worldwide continues to amaze us! We had hoped the international community would take notice of our heartbreaking rhino issue in South Africa but they’ve reacted hugely to the film, and this is now our 17th win since the film's release just a few months ago,” said a delighted de Bod.

– Source:
Safta-winning actress Thuso Mbedu is set to lead a cast in an American series on Amazon.
The series is based on Coloson Whitehead’s book, The Underground Railroad, according to Variety.

Taking to her Instagram to confirm the news with her fans, Thuso who will play the lead character of Cora alongside American actors Chase W Dillion and Aaron Pierre in the 11-part series, excitingly revealed how preparing for her role made her grow so much.

"My thumb and neurons are failing me right now so I'll just do as most South Africans do when this happens: I GOT THE JOB!!!!" she wrote in the caption.

"It was such an amazing process and experience. Like, true story, just prepping to audition for this role made me grow so much. It's such a blessing and honour to tell this story ... Again, words fail me so I'll stop there for now."

– Source:
Seven local drumming masters shared a stage with award-winning country music legend, Dolly Parton, at one of the largest theme parks in the United States of America recently.
Drum Café’s Drumstruck team – consisting of Mpho Rasenyalo, Patrick Pobee, Richard Carter, Sabelo Mgaga, Bafana Mahlangu, Emmanuel Quaye and Joshua Zacheus – entertained international audiences with their interactive drumming theatre experience at Dollywood, Tennessee.

They performed in the famous Festival of Nations at the Dollywood theme park, which attracts close to three million visitors a year. The local performers participated in the 2019 opening ceremony of Dollywood, with Parton exclaiming that she had been left "dumbstruck by Drumstruck".

– Source:
Both the male and female winners of Saturday’s Two Oceans Marathon in the Western Cape were proud South Africans, made all the more special by it being the 50th marathon.
Two Oceans said “the best smile in running today” came from defending champ and Ultra queen, Gerda Steyn in the female section.

The reigning males King and Champ of the Ultra, Bongumusa Mthembu (35) – who hails from the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands – was so energetic he “stepped on the finish line like he didn’t just run 56km” said Two Oceans.

But the winners weren’t just those who crossed the finishing line first. It was everyone who participated and pushed themselves to achieve what they never thought possible.

Men’s section winners:

1. Bongumusa Mthembu (RSA) – 3:08:40
2. David Gatebe (RSA) – 03:10:30
3. Justin Cheshire (Kenya) – 03:11:23
4. Sintayehu Yinesu (Ethiopia) – 03:12:34
5. Mabuthile Lepopo (Lesotho) – 03:16:04

Women’s section winners:

1. Gerda Steyn (RSA) – 03:31:29‚
2. Mamorallo Tjoka (Lesotho) – 03:38:23
3. Irvette van Zyl (RSA) – 03:41:32
4. Dominika Stelmach (Poland) – 03:50:12
5. Jenna Challenor (RSA) – 03:51:56

–– Source:
“Mr President,

“We would like to express our appreciation to you for convening this meeting. We also thank the African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative for UNAMID, Mr J Mamabolo, for his enlightening briefing to this council.

“We are particularly grateful to UNAMID for their continued efforts in Darfur in their pursuit for peace.

“The united efforts of the international community have led to substantial progress in building peace in Darfur and the wider region. Our continued efforts should preserve these gains that have been made in recent years.  It is out hope that the developments in Khartoum will not negatively affect the gains made thus far.

“We should continue to give oxygen to the gains made in advancing the Darfur Peace Process and the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. It is important that the international community continues to support these important processes and encourage all stakeholders to implement the outstanding provisions from various commissions.

“It is imperative that adequate support is provided to internally displaced persons, particularly, focussing on prevention of sexual violence against women and children.

“The importance of humanitarian support to affected areas in Sudan remains an important lifeline to many people. It is essential that there is an eventual transition from humanitarian support to reconstruction and development in the Darfur area as UNAMID eventually exits Sudan.

“South Africa support that UNAMID should continue upholding it’s Mission and continues the course of the drawdown.

“Mr President,

“On the wider Sudan settlement, it’s critical that Sudanese people seize this opportunity to address all their current differences and ensure the inclusion of all Sudanese. The developments in Darfur are inextricably linked to that of Sudan and the region.

“South Africa underscores the importance of a credible transition and a transparent process that will aide in unifying the country.

“As the international community, we should rally behind the ambitions of the Sudanese people.

“Furthermore, our engagement on Sudan should further be guided by regional approaches and through the African Union. The African Union Peace and Security Council Communiqué of 15 April 2019 on the situation on Sudan urgently appeals to all the AU partners and the international community to support their effort, through this adopted communiqué. This communiqué assists the trajectory of the Sudanese people. The unity of the council in supporting this approach is vital.

“The council should support the Secretary-General’s endeavours in supporting the African Union in trying to find resolve through peaceful means.

“Mr President,

South Africa is of the firm view that support to the economy is essential. The need to address the socio-economic needs of the Sudanese people will be paramount in the rebuilding of Sudan as this constituted part of the root causes of the current impasse.

“On accountability, we should give space to the Sudanese to utilise their own internal mechanisms to address accountability issues and chart their future trajectory.

“Lastly Mr President, it’s important that the council calls for calm and for the situation to be resolved peacefully and amicably through inclusive political dialogue.

“We would like to express our appreciation to the AUHIP for their work and request their continued leadership and support in making peace in the broader Sudan.

“I thank you!”
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