Noted for his efforts to avert the war between Sudan and South Sudan, former South African president Thabo Mbeki has been named “African of the Year”.
Former Tanzanian Prime Minister and African Union head, Salim A. Salim, announced Thabo Mbeki as winner of the award, saying the former president had displayed outstanding leadership of the African Union’s High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP).
Salim said the advisory board which chose Mbeki normally gave it to an ordinary African doing extraordinary things. But Mbeki’s role had been extraordinary.
The AU panel had succeeded “in bringing Sudan and South Sudan back from the brink of war and consolidating a new start in relations.”
Citing the nine agreements between the two countries which were signed in September, Salim said the advisory board was “particularly impressed with the fact that these accords were of a comprehensive nature, not only focussing on the cessation of hostilities but also on restarting southern oil exports through the North, reviving cross-border trade, and overall forging a new start in relations.”