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South African deputy president in Juba on peace mission

December 2, 2019 (JUBA) – South Africa’s deputy president David Mabuza has started a peace mission to war-torn South Sudan.

South Africa’s special envoy to South Sudan, David Mabuza (SABC)

Mabuza’s mission, the presidency said in a statement is to chair a consultative meeting of parties to South Sudan’s revitalized peace agreement signed in September last year.

The senior South African official is a special peace envoy to South Sudan.

The meeting, scheduled for Dec. 2-3 in Juba, follows the 13th Ordinary Summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), held in Addis Ababa on November 29 as part of efforts aimed at resolving South Sudan’s civil war.

While in Juba, Mabuza is expected to join IGAD heads of state in urging the parties to the peace accord to accomplish the pre-transitional tasks within the current extended window of 100 days, and for the signatories to form a unity government by end of the extended period.

“We are hopeful that this consultative meeting will result in consensus on the remaining issues that led to the extension of the pre-transitional period,” Mabuza observed.

Early last month, President Salva Kiir and the country’s opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to delay key benchmarks in the peace agreement by 100 days.

The delay in forming a national unity government on November 12 came after Machar’s group raised concerns that the country’s security arrangements are still incomplete.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter dismissed.

In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.