Media Statement

1 May 2013

President Zuma to undertake a working visit to the Republic of Congo

His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma will undertake a working visit to the Republic of Congo to attend the Contact Group Meeting on the Central African Republic (CAR), scheduled for 3 May 2013 in Congo Brazzaville.

The Contact Group Meeting on the CAR follows extensive diplomatic engagements at the level of summits of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) regarding the political and security situation in the CAR.

At the last Extraordinary Summit, the Heads of State and Government of Central Africa decided that His Excellency, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, who is the Chair of the Contact Group of the ECCAS, would convene a meeting in Congo Brazzaville to further determine the way forward to restoring stability, security, respect for human rights and democracy in the CAR.

It is expected that the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Mr Ramtane Lamamra, will participate in the Contact Group Meeting.

The position of the AU clearly stipulates that there could be no recognition given to any government that comes to power through unconstitutional means. However, after the military coup in the CAR, the ECCAS region had to adopt a roadmap aimed at restoring constitutional normalcy in the country by recognising the formation of a transitional structure to govern the CAR in the interim.

It is expected that President Zuma, who attended the two previous ECCAS Extraordinary Summits, will be given an opportunity to convey South Africa’s position at the upcoming Contact Group Meeting.

It is South Africa’s position not be party to any internal conflict in the CAR. South Africa’s role in the CAR was to assist in capacity-building and training under a legal framework that is in compliance with South Africa’s domestic legislation and resolutions of the AU and the UN.

The South African Government will continue to play a positive and constructive role in conflict resolution and peace-building efforts on the African continent, guided by the vision of the African continent that is peaceful, prosperous and democratic.

President Zuma will be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to the Contact Group Meeting.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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