The defense ministers of South Africa and the Republic of South Sudan are expected to sign an agreement in the capital, Juba.

The South African Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was expected in the South Sudanese capital, Juba on Monday to meet her South Sudanese counterpart, Kuol Manyang Juuk.

The two ministers, News24 reported, are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on co-operation in the field of defence between the government of South Africa and South Sudan.

“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,” Joy Peter, the South African defense ministry’s spokesperson was quoted saying.

“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,” added the official.

In September 2011, the two countries signed an agreement establishing formal diplomatic relations as well as creating economic and trade-related frameworks to promote bilateral trade and investment between both nations.

South Africa has fraternal relations with South Sudan stemming from the ties of the liberation struggles of the African National Congress (ANC) and the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M). However, following the signing of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, South Africa was also instrumental in providing development and mediation assistance to South Sudan.