Press Comments made by South African Foreign Ministry Dr Nkosazana
Dlamini Zuma and Burkinabe Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation
Youssouf Ouedraogo Union Buildings, Pretoria Monday 2 April 2007
We are very pleased today to welcome
Minister Youssouf Ouêdraogo of Burkina Faso. This is his first official
visit to South Africa although he has visited many times in other capacities.
He has also accompanied his President to South Africa,
We are very happy
to have finalised this Agreement on the Establishment of a Joint Commission of
Cooperation between South Africa and Burkina Faso because this will allow us to
identify areas for co-operation.
We discussed our political interaction
and relations at many levels and in many fora, including the United Nations and
African Union, are very strong these are not matched by strong co-operation in
We would now like to begin co-operating at other levels -
government, people-to-people, business, trade - it is co-operation at these levels
that will be sustainable and guarantee a sustainable political relationship. If
you do not have co-operation in these other fields, you cannot have a sustainable
Political co-operation is dependent on governments
that may change but if you have rooted co-operation, relations will be sustainable
despite the government in power.
For us in South Africa, and within SADC,
it is very important to begin to consolidate relations with West Africa and for
ECOWAS and SADC to have stronger links. These links will be useful for the integration
of Africa. It will not be possible to have integration without co-operation and
knowledge of each other.
It is an excellent opportunity to visit South Africa. I accompanied
my President to South Africa in 2004. During their interaction, Presidents Mbeki
and Compaore were committed to strengthening relations - commercial, economic,
etc - between both countries and to make them reflective of our political relations.
We still have good relations within bilaterally and within the African Union,
in terms of crisis and conflict resolution. In the past year Presidents Mbeki
and Compaore have worked very hard on the matter of Côte d'Ivoire.
signature on this agreement for joint co-operation will ensure we work consistently
towards strengthening our relations.
As Minister Dlamini Zuma said, these
strengthened bilateral relations will give expression to African integration.
We need to know more about each other and to take advantage of each others strengths.
have committed ourselves to holding the first session of the joint commission
in 2008. To this end, our respective officials will work very hard to ensure this
becomes a reality and to assess the needs of each government and to better understand
the potential for joint projects.
We are already partners in the Pan-African
Cinema Festival and Pan-African Handicraft Fair bi-annually in February and October
We have a lot of potential to work together to eradicate poverty
and underdevelopment in Africa and to fight to create stability in Africa.
hope we can work together as Ministers for the benefit of the peoples of our countries
and our continent.
Questions and answers
Question Ministers, regarding
Côte d'Ivoire, what are the differences between the Agreements signed in
the past and the Ouagadougou Agreement signed in March 2007?
Zuma) The important thing about this agreement is that the Ouagadougou Agreement
was signed by both sets of belligerents. The Agreement has committed them and
gives them roles in the implementation of all agreements signed thus far.
You have President Gbagbo, as the Head of State, and Guillaume Soro who is now
the Prime Minister who are responsible for implementing the two major remaining
issues - one basket of which contains the issues of, inter alia, citizenship,
nationality, registration and the other relating the DDR process which consists
of issues relating to disarmament and reintegration.
These issues are critical
- who has to disarm - it is the forces of President Gbagbo and Prime Minister
Soro who need to disarm - it is them who control the north and the south. There
is therefore no one better placed to implement these agreements.
up committee also involves them and the other signatories of Lineas-Marcoussis.
This in a way, resembles what happened in South Africa - there were two
major groups who had to implement the agreement they had reached although they
were both were on opposing sides. They also had to follow up on the implementation
of all aspects of this agreement.
For me this is a good agreement and it
has the most possibility for success. President Mbeki has always said that it
is the Ivorian people who will ensure their stability,
I have not much more to add.
In a situation like this, those who are fighting
with arms are the correct people to sign a peace agreement. Taking into account
all the agreements that have been signed, we have seen that if both parties agree
to sign a peace agreement more than 90% of the crisis is solved.
the new institutional systems built into this agreement with a permanent high
level follow up committee shared by President Compaore in his capacity as Facilitator,
President Gbagbo, Prime Minister Soro, Allasane Outtara and Konan Bedie, there
is an opportunity to discuss any problematic issues that may arise. We now have
the best opportunity for implementation since all the parties who have signed
Pretoria, Accra and Lineas Marcoussis have now agreed to disarmament and the processes
Question Ministers, one of the biggest issues in Côte
d'Ivoire has been that of nationality and identification of those immigrants in
the North, most of which are coming from Burkina Faso. Although there are many
immigrants in Côte d'Ivoire, most are coming from Burkina Faso. Has any
agreement been signed between Presidents Gbagbo and Compaore to protect these
Answer (Minister Ouêdraogo) We have about 5 million
Burkinabe immigrants in Côte d'Ivoire. Most have been in Burkina Faso for
many years but the bulk of these are in the South and central Côte d'Ivoire
where the agriculture is most developed.
There is no agreement between
Presidents Gbagbo and Compaore in this regard. What is the main factor is this
agreement in terms of pragmatic reconciliation of Ivorians since all methods used
thus far have failed.
We wanted to use the method of audience foreignes
for the identification process but this would have taken more than three years.
The people who voted in 2000 were Ivorians since only Ivorians can vote in elections.
If in 2000 5 million Ivorians voted, this forms the basis of the agreement we
are now working on.
Question Minister Dlamini Zuma, are you pleased that
South Africa has relinquished the role of President of the UN Security Council
and what are some of the outcomes of the thematic debate?
Dlamini Zuma) South Africa's Presidency lasted one month and now that ours
is completed I realise why it cannot last longer. It has been a very intense month.
On the thematic debate: it is not the first time we have had such a discussion
but it must be debated until the matter is resolved satisfactorily. We did take
a step forward during this debate. What is important is that the UN Security Council
mandated the UN Secretary-General to compile a report on the matter. I was happy
with the debate.
We also began the debate with a closed working breakfast
from which emanated many useful ideas which we will use.
there were two UN resolutions adopted in the Security Council on Côte d'Ivoire.
What will now happen with the new agreement - will these UN resolutions become
null and void
Answer (Minister Dlamini Zuma) After the finalisation
of the Ouagadougou Agreement and its acceptance by the African Peace and Security
Council and the UN Security Council, a new UN resolution must be crafted in line
Question Minister Dlamini Zuma, I believe you are visiting
Europe later today. Can you give us an indication of your visit?
(Minister Dlamini Zuma) I will be visiting Malta and the Vatican. I will be
having a bilateral meeting with my Maltese counterpart. I decided to honour the
invitation to visit Malta since the Maltese government have been saying we do
not do enough work on our bilateral relations.
At the Vatican, I will hold
discussions with the Cardinal in Charge of Foreign Affairs during which we will
share ideas on co-operation in multilateral fora.
I thought it best to
visit Italy since I will be just across in Malta.
was there unofficial co-operation between South Africa and Burkina Faso seeing
that the Agreement legalizing bilateral co-operation has only just been signed?
(Minister Dlamini Zuma) Since we did not have this agreement, we did have
relations although they were unstructured. We also did not have embassies in each
country and this makes it difficult to concretise relations. Our Presidents mandated
that this be done as soon as possible and we now have Embassies in each other's
countries. And as the Minister has said, we have participated in the film festival
and craft market. I am sure we can now have better business-to-business co-operation
that will serve to strengthen our economic co-operation.
Issued by Department
of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152