Issue 379 | 6 June 2019
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The President has indicated that the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, to enable him to deliver his State of the Nation Address, will take place on 20 June 2019 at 19h00.
The presiding officers of Parliament; National Assembly Speaker, Thandi Modise; and National Council of Provinces Chairperson, Amos Masondo; have received a letter from President Cyril Ramaphosa advising them of the date for the first SoNA for the Sixth Democratic Parliament.

In terms of Section 84 of the Constitution, the President may summon both houses of Parliament to an extraordinary sitting to conduct special business, such as the SoNA.

At an appropriate time, the pesiding officers of Parliament will apprise the public of the details of the SoNA ceremony, which is the second this year, and the necessary preparations being put in place in line with the institution’s constitutional functions.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his condolences to the family and friends of veteran journalist and editor Raymond Louw. Mr Louw, 91, passed away in a Johannesburg hospital.
“With the passing of Mr Louw, the country has lost a brave and principled journalist and a champion of press freedom. Throughout his illustrious career, he reminded us of the critical importance of media freedom to the health of our democracy.”

“The loss of this respected media stalwart is all the sadder that it comes a day after the passing of his wife, Jean. I offer my deepest sympathies to the family,” the President added.

Louw, a former editor of the acclaimed Rand Daily Mail and Sunday Times, was the recipient of numerous accolades such as the Pringle Medal for services to journalism, the Media Institute of Southern Africa's Media Freedom Award, the Mondi-Shanduka Newspaper Lifetime Achiever Award and the International Press Institute award for Press Freedom Campaigning. He also served as Deputy Chairperson of the Media Freedom Subcommittee of the South African National Editors Forum.

Louw was also a mentor to a number of young journalists who went on to take up senior positions in the local media industry.

“The most fitting tribute to Mr Louw would be that we strive to uphold the principles he held dear: a commitment to a free press, and to accurate, balanced and fair reporting,” President Ramaphosa said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated his Malawian counterpart, Peter Mutharika, on his re-election to the position of President of the Republic of Malawi following the tipartite elections held on 21 May 2019.
President Ramaphosa also commended and congratulated the people of Malawi for conducting peaceful elections.

President Ramaphosa expressed his commitment to working closely with President Mutharika to enhance the good bilateral relations which exist between South Africa and Malawi, paying particular focus on the strengthening of economic cooperation.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, extended his deepest condolences to the Republic of Namibia following the passing on of the former first Vice President, His Excellency Dr Nickey Iyambo, in May 2019

Furthermore, President Ramaphosa expressed his deepest sympathy to the family of Dr Nickey Iyambo at their loss. The President remarked that Dr Iyambo was a dedicated leader who served his country in various positions. In this regard, the President recalled that Dr Iyambo served as a member of the National Assembly of Namibia since 1995 as well as a Cabinet Minister.

President Ramaphosa said that the thoughts and prayers of the South African people were with the family, Government and people of Namibia during this period of mourning.

On Tuesday, 4 June 2019, the Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Kgabo Mahoai, welcomed the new Ministry, consisting of Minister Naledi Pandor and Deputy Minsters Candith Mashego-Dlamini and Alvin Botes.
In her address to DIRCO staff, which received a standing ovation, Minister Pandor said “our aspiration is as always, not only for us in South Africa, it is for a better world”.

“ … So we must always remember, that our history, the nature of the struggle we put in motion, is extremely important and is part of the armour that we bring into our role as the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. It is part of what drives us.

“I also think that we are driven by our aspirations as a people, a government and a department. Our aspirations that the world can be a better place. Our aspiration that Africa can develop. Our aspirations that the fact that we are free, and the fact that so many were with us, side by side, as we walked to that freedom, means we must walk with others. So, our aspirations are always that we will have as a bastion, solidarity and interest in the condition of others.

“But our aspiration is not just for ourselves as South Africans. It is for those who are oppressed in Myanmar, it is for those who suffer in Palestine. It is for those who have no democracy, in a range of conditions in the world. Our aspiration, is that we make the African Diaspora’s cooperation a reality. That we will, as people who come from a community of the oppressed, use our numbers, our strength, our character, to rise.

“We have national ambitions as well. We want to see the condition of the people of South Africa change. And again, our department is strategically important to achieving that change. To securing again, international solidarity in support of changing the condition of the people of South Africa, and of the people of the continent of Africa."

In conclusion, Minister Pandor said that when she looked at DIRCO staff, she saw excellence and was looking forward to working together.
The South African Government notes with great concern the ongoing political and security situation in Sudan. Clashes between the military and protesters on Monday, 3 June 2019, have reportedly led to the deaths of 60 civilians, with many others injured.
The South African Government calls on the Military Transitional Council to exercise total restraint and protect the lives and property of the people, in keeping with the country’s constitutional provisions and laws.

In addition, South Africa calls on all the stakeholders, including the Military Transitional Council and the opposition alliance, to engage in constructive and peaceful dialogue in order to resolve the current political and security challenges facing the country.

Furthermore, South Africa calls on the African Union Peace and Security Council to remain seized with situation in the Sudan.
Brand South Africa has noted and welcomes the UN's recognition and praise of South Africa’s role in peacekeeping missions on the African continent.
Speaking at the 2019 commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers held in Bloemfontein, the newly appointed UN Resident Coordinator in South Africa, Nardos Bekele-Thomas, said that the country’s brave men and women should be celebrated for they put their lives at risk daily in their efforts to bring peace and security in the countries from which they operate.

“Many other South African men and women have paid the ultimate price in the service for global peace,” added Bekele-Thomas.

Since the advent of democracy in 1994, domestic and international expectations have steadily grown regarding South Africa’s role as a responsible and respected member of the internationally community.

“South Africa has come a long way since the days when the sight of its armed forces used to instil fear among the peoples of neighbouring states. Since 1994, South Africa has transformed the South African National Defence Force into a symbol of hope and a defender of defenceless people. South Africa’s armed forces are celebrated today for their critical role in stabilising, reconstruction and development of infrastructure and the training of troops in war-torn countries,” said Brand South Africa Acting CEO, Thulisile Manzini.

With a total of more than 1 190 troops stationed in UN Peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, South Africa is considered as the 11th-biggest troop contributor to UN Peacekeeping in Africa and the 17th-biggest in the world.

South Africa’s efforts are also recognised in the 2018 Good Country Index, which sees the country ranking third out of 163 countries for its contribution to international peace and security. The Good Country Index measures how much each of the 163 countries on the list contribute to the planet, and to the human race, through their policies and behaviours. The index is a composite statistic of 35 data points mostly generated by the UN. These data points are combined into a common measure which gives an overall ranking, and a ranking in seven categories: Science and Technology, Culture, International Peace and Security, World Order, Planet and Climate, Prosperity and Equality, as well as Health and Well-being.
Locally manufactured medical devices sparked interest from delegates attending the Africa Health Exhibition at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) hosted 30 local companies that were showcasing locally manufactured medical devices at the South African Pavilion that was part of the Africa Health Exhibition that took place from 28 to 30 May 2019.

The Africa Health Exhibition is the largest gathering of healthcare companies, technology, products and services on the African continent, which features 560 exhibiting companies from 39 countries and a host of accredited conferences and workshops.

Speaking at the exhibition, the Director of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices at the dti, Swasthi Soomaroo, said that she was pleased that the pavilion demonstrated South Africa’s diversity and capability in manufacturing products that ranged from consumable devices to high-value add equipment, among others.

“We received ministers of health from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Namibia, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Lesotho and they all were keen to observe our capabilities as a country.
“They had expressed interest in some of the locally manufactured products and had also undertaken to return to further discuss possibilities of procuring some of these products,” she said.

The Procurement Member of the Medical Device Manufacturers of South Africa, Clinton Shahim, explained that their role was to advise and provide the industry with assistance.

“We look at issues that are relevant to local manufacturers, then guide members on government grants, exhibitions and upcoming conferences. We try to bring various industry players together in order to enable collaboration between companies in various areas. We also have a big focus on local content and lobby government to buy from local manufacturers,” Shahim said.

Source: –
From luxury wine estates and gigantic tourist attractions, to the best ways to fly in the sky, the World Travel Awards is a grand achievement that tells travellers which are the most trusted brands.
On Saturday, 1 June 2019, the Africa and Indian Ocean edition of the awards was held at the swanky Sugar Beach Resort in Mauritius.

The celebrations were welcomed by founder and president of the World Travel Awards, Graham Cooke who started the event in 1993. Since then, it has grown into one of the industry's highest benchmarks.

Handed out by Jo-Anne Strauss, there were some big winners from South Africa: Table Mountain won the continent's Leading Tourist Attraction, while Cape Town International won the Best Airport Category, as the city took home Best Events and Festivals Destination.

The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa took home the Boutique Hotel Category, while Durban won in three categories: Best City, Best Meetings and Conference Destination and Best Cruise Port.

The Leading Wine Country Hotel in South Africa went to the rebuilt Lanzerac Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, while Shambala Private Game Reserve in Limpopo got Africa's Leading Private Game Reserve.

Kenya also won big, their airline taking home two awards for their Business and Economy classes. Nairobi was named the Top Business Travel Destination and then the ultimate Africa's Leading Destination. It was also announced that Kenya would be next year's host for the World Travel Awards.

This year's host, Mauritius, also raked in the wins. Besides scoring the coveted Indian Ocean's Leading Destination Award, it also took top honours in the cruise, airline, airport, resorts and wedding destination categories.

– Source: Traveller24
South African student Emilé Coetzee made her family, university and country proud on 22 May 2019 as she was crowned the winner of the Future Leaders Forum at the World Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events (IMEX) in Frankfurt, Germany, May 2019.
The North West University student beat five other international finalists to scoop the prize – a scholarship at the MPI Foundation/Maritz Global Events School, and a trip to New York to present her award-winning idea at a lavish gala dinner.

The competition was to present ideas that could ensure food security in the future.

Coetzee’s concept – called “Forbidden Fruit” – was based on consuming wild plants, like nutritious weeds. According to South African Tourism, her concept was “simple yet so effective”, and it blew the judges away.

“In the context of food, South Africa is very [diverse]. It is something unique we can give to the rest of world in terms of our conservation,” she said.

Coetzee formulated her concept after realising that the other finalists would incorporate technology into their solutions, “like how meat will be produced in technological ways”.

She then looked at South Africa as a whole and concluded: “All of us want to live more sustainably and do not want GMO in our foods. So, I thought of forbidden fruit, which goes back to where it all started, to [teach] people to harvest wild food. It can be more sustainable than technology-driven food.”

As she says: “The weeds in your garden; not all of it is poisonous. It might just make a tasty salad.” Coetzee believes South Africa is one of the “breadwinners” for Africa’s tourism and meetings industries, and knows that by being at IMEX and representing Africa as a whole, it’ll bring new visitors to the continent.

South African Tourism’s Chief Convention Bureau Officer, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, was at the gala dinner where Coetzee received her award.

“This is an extremely proud moment for us to see such talent from the South African tourism industry shine on the global stage,” said Kotze-Nhlapo. “Credit must also go to the Tourism Faculty at North West University as Emile is the third student from the university to have won this prestigious award in the last five years".

– Source:


Award-winning South African researcher Sanesha Naicker has been named Leading Female Pioneer in Breast Cancer Research 2019 by “GHP (Global Health and Pharma)” Magazine. Naicker is one of the awardees in the international magazine’s Alternative Medicine and Holistic Health Awards.
GHP said that the renowned researcher, who hails from Chatsworth, is a “young independent breast cancer researcher driving change within the global oncology market and aiding in the understanding of cancer through her work”.

Winning prestigious awards is nothing new for Naicker who was honoured by the International Journal of Palliative Nursing Awards in 2015 when she was a doctoral researcher undertaking a Master’s/Doctorate project on young women with breast cancer … a task that entailed her venturing into remote villages to gain information from scratch.

Last year, Naicker won two awards at the Divas of Colour Awards: International Woman of the Year and Leading Woman of the Year for 2018.

According to the Chatsworth Rising Sun, Naicker is an “accomplished inspirational, spiritual and humble individual”.

She attributes her achievements to God, her relatives and “sheer hard work”.

Naicker’s research findings could help change the course of the worldwide cancer treatment market.

“Ultimately, thanks to her dedication and hard work, Sanesha’s work has helped improve healthcare within her country and provided researchers and cancer specialists all around the world with the new information and insight into breast cancer,” says GHP.

Back home in South Africa, Naicker’s dreams are to build her own clinic for the underprivileged and to “improve patient advocacy, health promotion and care, health awareness, and find cures in South Africa and beyond”.

Meanwhile, she is inspiring young women in South Africa, and making her family, friends and country proud.

– Source:
The phrases “remarkable courage” and “extraordinary threat” written by no less a person than the UN Secretary-General do not affect the man they were written for. Just the opposite, he was doing his job and that it meant coming under enemy fire was part of the package.
That in a nutshell sums up the approach and attitude of SA Air Force (SAAF) helicopter pilot Lieutenant Colonel Stefan King, second in command of 19 Squadron based at AFB Hoedspruit in Limpopo.

He was nominated for the Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage, the UN’s highest peacekeeping award. This year, the medal was presented posthumously to Malawian peacekeeper Private Chancy Chitete, who saved a wounded colleague’s life at the expense of his own during a firefight against militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

King has been flying military helicopters since 2003 and is current on both the Agusta A109 light utility helicopter and the Oryx medium transport, in service with the SAAF combined helicopter unit (CHU) in the DRC as part of the UN Mission’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB).

He was commander of Oryx (tail number 1227), which had flown a routine ferry mission and landed at Goma just as dusk was settling on the night of 14 November last year. Before shutdown was complete, he was contacted via the external communications plug-in with Brigadier General Njabulo Dube, the South African FIB commander.

“It was explained that some of our forces involved in a major UN operation had come under heavy fire in a multi-pronged attack. Would I please go and assist in whatever way I could?”

An affirmative saw King and his flight crew – co-pilot lieutenant Ernest Hlongwane and flight engineer Warrant Officer Fanie Jiyane – take off with a British Army major as an observer also aboard.

“We were there because there were no attack helicopters that could be deployed in support and our job was to put up a show of force of some sort,” King explained.

This saw the flight crew don NVGs (night vision goggles) and head towards a point where, as he put it, “the action seemed thick”.

The Oryx does not have any armament fitted but carries well over a hundred flares for self-protection. This time around the flares were put into an offensive role and set off to distract militia attacking Guatemalans cut off from own forces while collecting water. This only came to light when the helicopter landed after the emergency sortie.

“We did numerous runs and each time set off flares to deter enemy fire. Each run saw the helicopter come under fire and at least two RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) passed close enough to make our NVGs useless for a while. After just over an hour of orbiting and flare runs, our fuel situation reached the stage where we had to abort.”

King was afterward told by some Guatemalans had the Oryx and its flares not arrived, they would have been “goners”.

“I don’t know whether it was the British observer or the Guatemalans who nominated me for the award,” he told defenceWeb, adding he and his crew did what they were trained and deployed for.

– Source:
The Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) Drylands Conservation Programme is thrilled to confirm the presence of a population of riverine rabbits on the western side of the Baviaanskloof in late May 2019.
This population represents a completely new distribution of the species not anticipated by any previous population modelling.

According to Bonnie Schumann, EWT Nama Karoo Coordinator, this is an historic find with the closest confirmed sightings of the southern population having been more than 250 km to the west.

The discovery came after ornithologist and well-known conservation scientist, Alan Lee from Blue Hills Escape Farm in the Western Cape, discovered a dead riverine rabbit on a gravel road in December 2018.

Fortunately, he realised that the animal in front of him was not a hare or a rock rabbit but the critically endangered riverine rabbit.

EWT team members visited the area and set out 38 camera traps with the aim of capturing live images to confirm the presence of another population.

Camera traps are placed in clusters and in such a manner that individuals are not likely to be observed twice by more than one cluster. After 50 days in the field, the cameras were collected by the team and processed.

According to Cobus Theron, EWT Drylands Conservation Programme Manager, “while we expected one or two clusters to capture images, we were astounded that eight of our 12 clusters had confirmed images of riverine rabbits on them.”

This again demonstrates that this species is the true hide-and-seek champion of the Karoo.

“This find is unexpected and redefines our understanding of the distribution of the species. It demonstrates that their elusiveness is part of their survival strategy,” continues Theron.

CapeNature Executive Director: Biodiversity Capabilities, Coral Birss, added, “CapeNature is delighted about the recent discovery of riverine rabbits in the Baviaanskloof area in the Southern Cape.

“This latest discovery is remarkable and bodes well for the future survival of this critically endangered species, particularly for its protection within the landscapes of the Western Cape surrounding our nature reserves.

“CapeNature commends the great work and research being done and facilitated by the EWT and looks forward to further collaboration and tracking the progress of this interesting species.”

– Source:
Celebrity chef and TV personality, Lorna Maseko, will be heading to Stockholm, Sweden, in June where she will take part in the prestigious EAT Forum, from 12 to 13 June.
The star, who hosts her own YouTube cooking channel, was invited to speak at the event, which will bring together over 1 000 minds from around the world in the name of global food transformation.

"EAT is a non-profit organisation whose objective is to create a fair and sustainable global food system that caters for those around the world suffering from hunger", a press statement explains.

Maseko will also be cooking alongside well-known chef Marcus Samuelsson for the Global Citizen Chef's Manifesto Dinner.

Excited about the upcoming trip, she says working toward a future where food is available to all is something which is very close to her heart.

About the forum, she adds: "It's one of the largest food forums in Europe. As a celebrity chef, I know I have a voice in advocating change through what I do."

The star plans on learning as much as she can while working alongside chef Samuelsson, promising to implement those lessons when she returns home.

– Source:
A group of teens is set to make aviation history as they plan to fly a light aircraft from Cape Town to Cairo in Egypt.
The group of 20 plans to fly the 10 139-km distance on 12 June in a plane they have assembled themselves.

"The purpose is to show Africa and even the world that anything is possible if you set your mind to it," 17-year-old teen pilot Megan Werner, from Krugersdorp.

Werner founded U-Dream Global, which supervised the building of the aircraft, in order to promote science, technology, engineering, mathematics education, innovation, youth empowerment and skills development.

The teens built the aircraft in two weeks under the guidance of The Airplane Factory, U-Dream mentors and five team leaders from Denel Aviation.

"The challenge has enabled us to take a lot of teenagers from different backgrounds to teach and equip them with life skills that they can take with them into the future," said Werner.

The flight will take the team through cities in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea on their way to Egypt.

– Source:
South Africa’s leading female referees, Aimee-Barrett Theron and Ashleigh Murray, will hold the whistle in the July and August international window and 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup Qualifiers after being named on World Rugby’s referee panels for these significant matches.
Barrett-Theron will kick off her duties as an assistant referee in the clash between France and New Zealand on Saturday, 6 July, in the Women’s Rugby Super Series at the Chula Vista Elite Centre in San Diego, before taking charge of the matches between England and France on Wednesday, 10 July, and France and the United States of America on Sunday, 14 July.

The former Springbok women’s player’s next assignment will be at Eden Park in New Zealand on Saturday, 17 August, where she will hold the whistle in the Test between arch-rivals New Zealand and Australia.

Murray has been tasked with officiating the Africa Women’s Rugby World Cup Qualifying matches between Kenya and Uganda on Tuesday, 13 August, and Madagascar and Uganda on Saturday, 17 August, in the Women’s Cup at the Bosman Stadium in Brakpan, Gauteng.

The duo will also be in action in the tournament, which will see the top team on log points’ after three rounds of matches book their place in the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

“Congratulations to Aimee and Ashleigh on their appointments and for their impressive performances, which has seen them earn regular international appointments in the last few seasons,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“It takes a lot of hard work and determination to reach this level, and the fact that they have been able to feature at international level consistently shows the high standards within our Referees Department and among our referees themselves.

“It is particularly pleasing to have both of them participating in important internationals the same time.”

– Source:
South Africa have named their squad for this year's Netball World Cup, which takes place in Liverpool from 12 to 21 July.
For netball in South Africa, this has been one of the busiest years for the sport with the country having earlier been awarded the rights to host the 2023 World Cup in Cape Town.

South Africa’s head coach, Norma Plummer, knows the significance of the World Cup and what it means as she has won it both as a player and as a coach.

"Getting the best players to come with to Liverpool is very important and critical part of our preparations," she said after announcing her squad of 12.

"I have worked with all SA-based players during a week’s camp in Pretoria and I have assessed them again during the 2019 edition of the Telkom Netball League, which is currently underway in Pretoria.

"I have also been working very closely with coach Dorette (Badenhorst) to make sure that we choose what we believe are the best players for this World Cup.

"I have spent some time also assessing some of the players that are plying their trades in England, New Zealand and Australia and this also helped us identify who we need and what value will they bring into the team."

The 12 players to represent South Africa at the 2019 World Cup:  Lenize Potgieter, Ine-Marie Venter, Maryka Holtzhausen, Renske Stoltz, Erin Burger, Izette Griesel, Khanyisa Chawane, Bongiwe Pretty Msomi (captain), Shadine van der Merwe, Karla Pretorius, Phumza Maweni and Zanele Vimbela.

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“Mr President,

“We thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), Mr François Louncény Fall, for the report on the situation in Central Africa and the activities of UNOCA.

“South Africa recognises the important role played by UNOCA in the promotion of peace and security in Central Africa. We, thus, commend the efforts of Mr Fall, in discharging the mandate of UNOCA, particularly in promoting stability in the region, and in preventing or mitigating election-related crises.

“Mr President,

“South Africa welcomes the signing of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic (CAR) as well as the formation of an all-inclusive government. We further express the view that all parties should seize this opportunity to implement the Peace Agreement in order to extricate CAR from the cycle of continued conflict. In this respect, it is of vital importance for all stakeholders in CAR to put the interest of the people and country first above all other considerations, and work together towards bringing stability, peace, reconciliation and development to the country.

“It is our conviction that elections are one of the positive signs toward consolidating democracy on the continent. We, therefore, commend the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for holding its national elections in a relatively calm atmosphere that resulted in the peaceful transfer of power. We, however, express concern over the attempted coup in Gabon in January 2019. Our continent should strive towards eliminating unconstitutional changes of government and this requires greater support for security sector reform and post-conflict institution-building. We thus urge UNOCA to continue to assist countries in the region in the preparation and conduct of elections by creating conditions more conducive to peaceful, inclusive and credible elections.

“South Africa is encouraged by the improving security situation in the Pool region in the Republic of Congo as well as the easing of social tensions in Chad. Although we remain concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Cameroon, we are encouraged by the efforts undertaken by the country’s authorities to stabilise the situation and call upon all parties to refrain from any actions that could lead to a further deterioration of the situation.

“We condemn the indiscriminate attacks against civilians and national security personnel by terrorist and armed groups in the region. We are equally concerned about the increase in piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Gulf of Guinea.

“We welcome the progress made in efforts to combat poaching and illicit trafficking in wildlife and natural resources as evidenced by the interceptions and arrests made by the Gabonese and Cameroonian authorities in terms of the illegal trade in kevazingo wood, pangolin scales and elephant tusks.

“Mr President,

“South Africa notes with concern the number of people that are in need of humanitarian assistance in the region. We urge humanitarian partners to continue providing fundamental humanitarian assistance to all populations in need, and for governments to facilitate access for humanitarian assistance to be delivered.

We encourage the peaceful resolution of disputes and inclusive dialogue where this is required in the region such as addressing the growing number of conflicts related to pastoralism and transhumance in the subregion, among other issues.

“South Africa notes the cross-cutting nature of issues in the region. In this regard, we commend the efforts to enhance the United Nations’ coherence and coordination in the region as evidenced by the close coordination between the African Union and UNOCA, ECCAS, the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). This, among other things, will contribute to strengthening responses to address the Lake Chad Basin Commission in the context of the fight against Boko Haram and the Lord’s Resistance Army, maritime security, as well as conflict between farmers and herders.

“Mr President,

South Africa remains concerned by the security threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army in CAR and the DRC. We therefore reaffirm the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council of 20 September 2018, to maintain the AU-led Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA) pending the development of a strategy to progressively phase out the RCI-LRA without leaving any security vacuum that the LRA could use to renew and intensify its destabilisation activities in the affected areas.

In closing Mr President, it should be recalled that the Council, at its meeting on 10 August 2018, requested the Secretary-General to undertake a review of the mandate of UNOCA. South Africa looks forward to receiving the outcomes emanating from the Secretary-General’s strategic review of the scope of UNOCA’s mandate and activities by 1 August 2019, with a view to strengthening the role of this political office in the region.

“I thank you.”
“Mr President,

“We thank the United Kingdom, in its capacity as penholder, for their transparency, tireless efforts and commitment in facilitating the resolution that we have adopted today.

“The renewal of the AMISOM mandate is a significant undertaking by this Council in supporting the Federal Government of Somalia and the people of Somalia as a whole. We appreciate the continued efforts of the regional, sub-regional and international community in bringing political stability in Somalia.

“Mr President,

We reiterate our position that any reconfiguration or drawdown of AMISOM should be based on the situation on the ground and should not lead to a security vacuum that may be exploited by terrorists groups and undermine the gains made in Somalia thus far. These gains have been hard won and have cost the lives of many African troops acting on behalf of the UN Security Council.
“As we extend the mandate of AMISOM, it is equally important to express our gratitude to all troop- and police-contributing countries and pay tribute to all our brothers and sisters who have sacrificed their lives in the quest for peace and stability in Somalia. We would like to thank the AU, UN and partners for their continued support and commitment to AMISOM and Somalia.

“We recognise the fundamental importance of the role of AMISOM for its efforts towards the restoration of security and stability in Somalia, which would have otherwise been impossible to reach without the presence of this AU-led Mission. AMISOM’s role is also invaluable as Somalia prepares for the 2020/21 elections.

“South Africa aligns itself with the AU Commission and AUPSC principled calls on the AU, UN and key partners in Somalia to provide the required resources to support AMISOM in a sustainable and predictable manner. This is important as AMISOM’s tasks and responsibilities require it to align its logistical and equipment capabilities and capacities with the realities and challenges on the ground.

“Mr President,

“Al-Shabaab has adapted and continues to launch successful asymmetrical attacks and mobile warfare against AMISOM and Somali forces, including targeting civilians, with vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) and IEDs in Somalia. They remain a threat to regional peace. This necessitates AMISOM to also adapt by, among others, having an agile force in response to the type of threat and Al-Shabaab posture.

The reconfiguration of AMISOM must be aligned with support and equipment right-sizing. In this regard, we support the position of the AUPSC and the Chairperson of the AU Commission that there should be a detailed assessment on the ground and comprehensive equipment review to inform the identification of not-fit-for-purpose or redundant equipment, and the deployment of additional and enhanced capabilities for AMISOM.

“Mr President,

"The stability and enhanced security in Somalia will improve the security of shipping lanes in the Horn of Africa. Thus ensuring free trade flows around the world to the benefit of us all.

“We should thus appreciate the contribution of AU TCCs in this regard. Hence, the necessity for this Council to agree on funding such vital peacekeeping operations, which benefit all of us around the world.

"Mr President,

"We remain concerned with the precarious humanitarian situation that still prevails in Somalia. We call on the international community to redouble its efforts towards improving the humanitarian situation and to protect all those in vulnerable situations.

“In conclusion, Mr President, the stabilisation, peace, development and political transition in Somalia is not only paramount to Somalia, but for the region and the continent at large. Thus, we reiterate our commitment to peace and stability in Somalia to ensure that the Somali people reap the benefits of peace and stability in their own country.

“I thank you.”
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