Transcript: Comments by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Sudanese First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, Tuynhuys Cape Town, 13 September 2016
Comments by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa
We have just concluded very good discussions between ourselves and the First Vice- President Taban Deng of South Sudan. We invited the Vice President Taban Deng and his delegation to come, so that we can be briefed about what has been happening in South Sudan.
He has given us a detailed briefing about the developments in South Sudan. We congratulated First Vice-President Taban Deng for his appointment as First Vice-President replacing Dr Riek Machar who has now fled South Sudan. We took note of his briefing in relation to how they are doing everything they can, to consolidate the peace in South Sudan.
We can say now that the guns have gone silent and they are working together in cooperation with President Salva Kiir. The government has become stable, the parliament has opened and we were very pleased and heartened to hear all these developments.
On conclusion on all this, we have decided together that we will setup a Task Team, between the two offices of the first Vice-President Taban Deng and our office as Deputy President to work on matters of mutual interest which will be decided on at both government level and our two Presidents will then take be able to take all these matter to another level.
So we’ve had really good discussions and we are now confident that peace will finally be entrenched in South Sudan and they will now be moving to the development plane and were very pleased to hear about their determination to ensure that peace does reign in South Sudan.
Comments by First Vice-President Taban Deng
Thank you, Your Excellency, Gentlemen of the Press; we flew to Cape Town to visit him. Cyril Ramaphosa the Deputy President of South Africa an old friend of South Sudan. He has been with us in Juba for a number of years. He has been following the developments in South Sudan very closely.
We came here to come and assure him of the positive developments taking place in the Republic of South Sudan. We are implementing peace because we have no other option than having peace. More violence is not an option in Africa, in South Sudan or anywhere elsewhere in Africa. We have to settle so that people develop, so that people can have health services, people have roads, people are food secure.
We came to visit him as an old friend. Many of you have followed the role he has been playing in making peace in South Sudan and also uniting the SPLM, the bigger party that have liberated the country called South Sudan now.
We brought greetings from His Excellency President Salva Kiir, to his brother President Zuma. We came here to ask for solidarity. As an elder brother, South Africa of course is one of the giants of Africa. We are relying in South African people to participate in cementing peace and developing the nation, moving forward. South Sudan is a potential country there are huge resources in oil and other minerals. South Africa has the technology; they have the capacity to help us tap into those resources so that people can move forward with developing their country.
Yes we are very serious in implementing peace there is no going back to any crisis or war. But people don’t eat peace in the first place, what they eat is the dividends that follow peace. Those dividends are roads, schools and health services.
Once again I thank the Deputy President. We really appeal to the people of South Africa to know more about South Sudan and to help us moving forward and tapping into those huge resources that I have just mentioned.
Once again I thank you, Your Excellency, I almost said that you go back to your second lovely city Juba, so that we move forward all of us and that then tomorrow we celebrate that Juba is moving forward. The country is peaceful now. There is no crisis. Deputy President, the government is running now-We have a united government. We have a co-operating Presidency. We have one government. The programme of that one government is peace implementation- which shall be the programme for the next thirty months. I am happy to be with you here in Cape Town
Question from media:
In the absence of Riek in the government of national unity what is being done to bring him back to the negotiating table to bring him back to the government of national unity. What is being done to bring him back or is the government saying ok well now let’s cut our losses let us move forward. And in the absence of him, can there be peace and stability and when we talk about a government of national unity in his absence, is it not a flawed concept?
Answer: Vice President Deng
The dilemma is not with Salva Kiir or Taban Deng. The dilemma is Riek Machar himself. He has been asked to return to Juba, but how is he going to return? Is he going to return with the same crisis that brought fighting in Juba, like for example, moving with huge forces, parallel armies.
Riek is impatient, he is not waiting for elections, he sees himself as a president-in-waiting, he is seeing himself a parallel president. So if he has removed himself from all those difficulties, if he goes back to Juba a peaceful person, then he is welcome to Juba. Otherwise, we are telling him the option is not going back to war.
The option is continuing with the implementation of peace, so that you can have a peaceful country, so that we can have elections in 30 months to come. We want him to denounce violence, that is the only message we have given him,
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY,
13 September 2016