20 February 2020
Statement of the Chairperson of the African Union on the agreement between HE Mr Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan and Dr Riek Machar to form a Transitional Government of National Unity in South Sudan
The Chairperson of the African Union, President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, welcomes the agreement reached today between HE Mr Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan and Dr Riek Machar, the leader of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM-IO) to form a Transitional Government of National Unity, in accordance with the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). This significant breakthrough follows the announcement by President Kiir, on 15 February 2020, of his decision to return the country to ten (10) states.
This announcement was made almost two weeks after President Ramaphosa held separate meetings with both President Kiir and Dr Machar on the eve of the 33rd session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during which the Chairperson encouraged the two leaders of South Sudan to redouble their efforts towards the speedy resolution of the outstanding issues in the implementation of the R-ARCSS.
The Chairperson stated, “We welcome the decision by President Kiir and Dr Machar to form a transitional government, which will help to preserve the unity of the people of South Sudan and bring about durable peace and stability in the country. In this regard, we commend both leaders for displaying statesmanship and a spirit of compromise which paves the way for the installation of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) in accordance with the R-ARCSS. The installation of the R-TGoNU on 22 February 2020 will mark a major turning point in efforts to bring unity, peace and stability in the fraternal Republic of South Sudan”.
The Chairperson further urges all the political parties in South Sudan to join the Transitional government and that any outstanding pre transitional measures should be discussed under the Transitional government.
The Chairperson commends IGAD, the AU High Level Ad-Hoc Committee for South Sudan, the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and other international partners for their continued support for peace, stability and reconciliation in South Sudan.
The Chairperson reiterates the African Union’s determination to continue working with the government and people of South Sudan to bring about lasting peace, stability and prosperity in that country.
President Ramaphosa concluded by stating, “Today’s breakthrough in Juba, South Sudan is a major step in our collective efforts to silencing the guns in Africa”.
Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President – 072 854 5707
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA