Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is heading to South Sudan on Monday to sign off on an agreement between SA and South Sudan.
News24 reports that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on co-operation in the field of defence will be signed. Department spokesperson Joy Peter said the agreement will strengthen the already solid historical link between the two countries.
“The MOU is a product of long existing bilateral relations between the two countries dating back to the liberation struggles and South Sudan’s independence, in which South Africa played a critical role.”
“It is intended that the MOU will facilitate better relations between the two countries, enhance security sector reforms as well as ensure peace and stability in South Sudan.”
Minister Mapisa-Nqakula is expected to meet her counterpart Lieutenant-General Kuol Manyang Juuk in the capital, Juba.
South Sudan is actually the worlds “newest” nation. It is in the centre of Africa and bordered by six countries. Just like so many other places with oil, there has been constant fighting and civil war leading to a halt of development. To put things into perspective, the BBC reports that just 15% of the country has a cell phone.
With South Sudan voting to separate from Sudan in 2011, there have been major problems in terms of sorting the agreements to get the oil flowing again. Additionally, there have been armed rebellions and feuds that have caused further chaos in the area.
“The country is awash with guns after the decades of conflict and there is a history of ethnic tension, which politicians could whip up if they believe that could help them gain, or remain in, power.” – BBC
The South Sudan Defence Force merged with the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army but it has been linked to some attacks on international aid workers in the area.