Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Republic of South Sudan

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Hon. Deng says Russia-Africa Summit discussed key issues afflicting the continent

30 July, 2023, Juba, SOUTH SUDAN – Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Deng Dau Deng returned to Juba on Sunday after participating in the Russia-Africa Summit, which ended with a pledge by Moscow to boost support for Africa and strengthen ties with the continent of some 1.3 billion people.

The Summit that was held from 27-28 July, 2023, brought together a host of African leaders to St. Petersburg amidst Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine and calls by African leaders for an end to the fighting, which has disrupted supply of grain to Africa, leading to steep rises in food prices. 

Vice President and Chairperson of the Infrastructure Cluster, H.E. Taban Geng Gai, led South Sudan’s delegation to the Summit, representing H.E. Salva Kiir, the President of the Republic.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a press conference late Saturday following the Russia-Africa summit said Russia’s termination of the grain deal earlier this month caused a rise in grain prices that benefits Russian companies. He added that Moscow would share some of those revenues with the “poorest nations.”

The presidents of Egypt and South Africa were among the most outspoken on the need to resume the grain deal.

“We would like the Black Sea initiative to be implemented and that the Black Sea should be open,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said. “We are not here to plead for donations for the African continent.”

African leaders also called clearly for peace.

“This war must end and it can only end on the basis of justice and reason,” said the head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. “The disturbances that it causes in the supply of energy and grain must cease immediately” for the benefit of all, especially Africans.

Hon. Deng told reporters at Juba International Airport that delegates kicked off the deliberations with discussions on the eve of the Summit on economic and humanitarian issues.

“On the invitation of the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, we reflected on the African-Russian partnership and the work of strengthening relations with Africa. We also discussed the situation of peace and security as well as development matters on the continent, ” Hon. Deng explained.

The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation added that the Summit also represented an opportunity for South Sudan to believed that the summit would be a platform for South Sudan to demonstrate to investors its potential in a number of areas and highlight progress the country has made in infrastructure and energy development.

Minister for Minning, Hon. Martin Abucha, was part of the South Sudanese delegation, which managed to sign a memorandum of understanding during the Summit with a Russian firm to carryout a comprehensive mapping of the country’s largely untapped mineral resources.

The South Sudan delegation also met with Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), on the side-lines of the St. Petersburg Summit, which focused on Afrexi Bank’s current and future investments in South Sudan.

“We discussed issues related to the financial services of Afrexi Bank to projects in the Republic of South Sudan. We had a wide range of discussions”, according to Hon. Deng

Hon. Deng also held a number of bilateral meetings on the side-line of the Summit, including with the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Chad, Cameroon, as well as the Republic of Congo.

The talks focused on the importance of multilateral cooperation in all areas at the UN Security Council as well as on human rights issues. Discussions also touched on the Summit held earlier in July in Cairo on the ongoing fighting in Sudan between Sudanese government forces under Gen. Abdel Fatah Al Burhan, chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council and Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).