Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has provided more details on the defence agreement signed with South Sudan in January this year.
Responding to a Parliamentary question posed by Sibonakaliso Phillip Mhlongo of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Mapisa-Nqakula on 11 April stated that “according to Article 1 of the MOU, the Parties shall cooperate in the use of defence resource[s] and promote joint research and development, including procurement of defence equipment, promote cooperation in the field of training, promote mutual support by encouraging and facilitating the exchange of defence related information, cooperate in the field of military medical services including the exchange of medical personnel and information regarding military health aspects, encourage the exchange of military personnel visits at all levels and promote sporting and cultural links between the Armed Forces, identify and promote defence related activities, including peace support operations and disaster management which would serve the principles of standardisation and inter-operability, foster cooperation between their respective defence-related industries, and act only in advisory and training capacities and will under no circumstances take part in hostilities or operations of a warlike nature by any armed force of the Republic of South Africa or the Republic of South Sudan, nor any operation of any force concerned with the enforcement or maintenance of peace, internal security or law and order.”
Mapisa-Nqakula visited South Sudan on 30 January this year, when she signed the memorandum of understanding with her counterpart Lieutenant General Kuol Manyang Juuk.
“It’s important for the [South Sudadnese] defence force to have contact with our defence force so that maybe they can take a few lessons including lessons for mistakes which we may have committed,” she said at the time.
“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,” the Defence and Military Veterans Ministry said.