Deputy President Paul Mashatile has expressed South Africa’s concern on the conflict that broke out in Sudan over the weekend between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Mashatile said the country is particularly disturbed by the rising numbers of civilian loss of life, the destruction of private and public infrastructure, and the humanitarian disaster that is likely to arise with the entrapment of civilians in their homes with no access to food and other basic necessities.
According to the World Health Organisation, 270 people have been killed, while more than 2 600 are injured since the battle began.
The Deputy President spoke at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) business forum in Cape Town, where the city is playing host to Africa’s most prominent business event to promote private sector participation in accelerating the implementation of the AfCFTA.
In his speech, Mashatile stressed the importance of social and political stability as one of the success factors for the AfCFTA project.
“War and peace have a very direct and material impact on the success of continental initiatives like the AfCFTA. This is why our heads of State and government adopted the May 2013 Solemn Declaration, which committed the continent to silence the guns by 2020. The fact that guns are still firing should tell us that we should spare no effort in the quest for peace,” Mashatile told delegates.
He said South Africa fully supports the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council at its meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 16 April 2023, on the situation in Sudan.
Mashatile also commended the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to resolve the conflict.