Purpose Trips of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation to Sudan and Guinea; and Mauritania and Abidjan
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO: 683 (NW733E)
Mr SJ Masango (DA) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:
With reference to her recent trips to (a) Sudan and Guinea and (b) Mauritania and Abidjan, (i) what was the purpose of each trip, (ii) what are the further relevant details of each trip and (iii) how did each trip contribute to achieving the objectives?
(a) Trip to Guinea:
(i) To support President Zuma during his attendance of the inauguration of President Alpha Condé, as the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Guinea.
(ii) The attendance of President Zuma and Minister Nkoana-Mashabane substantially strengthened bilateral relations between South Africa and Guinea. Informal talks on how to take political and socio-economic relations between South Africa and Guinea to the next level, took place during the visit. It gave recognition to political changes in country and expressed the anticipation that consultations on all levels would increase.
(iii) The inauguration of the first democratically elected President in the Republic of Guinea gave credence to South Africa’s general support for democratic processes in Guinea, as well as countries in West Africa. Attendance of the inauguration of President Alpha Condé greatly contributed to the objective to advance strategic bilateral relations between South Africa and countries in West Africa.
(a) Trip to Sudan
(i) The purpose of the visit was to meet with stakeholders in Khartoum and Juba to assess the needs and areas of development for the Sudan. The visit was in line with the responsibilities of the African Union which seeks to prevent the escalation of conflict and to build and consolidate peace in the Sudan, the Horn of Africa and in the entire continent.
The African Union Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (AUPCRD) Ministerial Committee for the Sudan was established in July 2003. As Chairperson of the AUPCRD, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, along with other members of the AUPCRD Ministerial Committee, undertook a visit to the Sudan from 23-26 October 2010.
(iii) One of the outcomes of the visit was the decision to send a technical team of experts from member countries of the AUPCRD to assess the priority needs of the Sudan and make recommendations. The technical team of experts is expected to conduct an assessment of the key post-conflict development and peace-building needs in the context of the new dispensation in the Sudan, in the framework of the relevant elements of the AUPCRD policy.
The team is also expected to assess and recommend how to respond to the capacity needs, including the capacitating of the civil service, the police and justice systems. In particular, make specific recommendations on how to enhance the security sector reform.It is anticipated that the Technical Team will be deployed during the first half of 2011.
(b) Trip to Mauritania and Abidjan
(i) The purpose of the trip to Mauritania and Abidjan was to support President Zuma during the African Union (AU) High‐Level Panel meetings held in Nouakchott and Abidjan respectively aimed at a resolution of the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire.
(ii) During the trip to Mauritania, the AU High – Level Panel met with the Team of Experts who submitted the finding to the members of the High – Level Panel. The Panel thereafter, travelled to Cote d’Ivoire and met with both Ivorian leaders, Mr. Gbagbo and Mr. Ouattara in order to make proposals aimed at resolving the crisis.
(iv) Both trips formed the basis in the process of resolving the current political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire as mentioned in (ii) above. Subsequent to the meeting in Nouakchott and Abidjan respectively, the AU High – Level Panel met again on 04 March in Nouakchott to conclude its work.