January 29th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has identified the “intractable conflicts” in Libya and South Sudan as a focus for South Africa when it will be chairing the African Union (AU) this year.
He said these conflicts “need the intervention of those who are able to assist African countries to find solutions”, adding “in some cases these interventions seem to be driven by ulterior motives”.
This indirect criticism was directed at especially Turkey and Russia, a close ally of South Africa as part of the BRICS economic grouping.
South Africa has been part of peace efforts in both countries for several years now as part of the AU high-level committee on Libya and high-level ad hoc committee on South Sudan.
Ramaphosa addressed South Africa’s heads of mission to African countries on Tuesday ahead of the AU heads of state summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, next week, where he is expected to take over from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as AU chairperson.
This year is also the final year of South Africa’s two-year non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council.
Ramaphosa, who has been facing a host of domestic challenges including slow economic growth and power cuts, told the diplomats chairing the AU was not his job alone, but they had to make it a team effort and drive South Africa’s goals in the countries where they were based.