Deteriorating security in DRC concerns SADC

TANZANIA: EXTRA-ordinary meeting for Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has expressed concern at the deteriorating security and humanitarian situations in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), saying the M23’s attacks are a clear violation of the ceasefire.

The summit which was attended by President Samia Suluhu Hassan and other 11 Heads of State from the community, provided strategic guidance on the deployment of the SADC Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC) to restore peace and security in the country.

According to communique issued by SADC in Luanda, Angola over the weekend, the summit reiterated the need for SADC to spearhead efforts towards mobilisation of resources for facilitating peace and security in the SADC Region.

The efforts include reviving discussions to establish and operationalise the SADC Peace Fund and engaging International Cooperating Partners.

The summit also mandated the Chairperson of SADC, supported by the Organ Troika to intensify the diplomatic efforts between the DRC and Rwanda to bring lasting peace in the DRC.

Moreover, the summit received an update on the elections in the SADC member states the report of the SADC Election Observation Mission to the Harmonised Elections in the Republic of Zimbabwe held in August 2023 and the General Election in the Kingdom of Eswatini in September 2023.

Along with other issues, the summit wished the Republic of Madagascar and the DRC peaceful and successful elections as the two SADC Member States hold their elections in November and December 2023, respectively, and reiterated SADC’s support through the deployment of the SADC Election Observation Mission.

During the summit, President Dr Samia was accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Mr January Makamba along with other senior government officials.

The summit was also attended by the President of Namibia, Dr Hage Geingob, President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of Malawi, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi and President of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema.

Other Heads of State who attended the meeting included President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Zimbabwe, Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, Prime Minister of Lesotho, Samuel Ntsokoane, President of Angola, João Lourenço  and Kingdom of Eswatini’s Principal Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, Ms Thabisile  Mlangeni.

Recently, Tanzania committed to support and contribute towards the Southern African Development Community Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (SAMIDRC), in an effort to ensure the goals of restoring peace and stability are attained.

That was said by Vice – President, Dr Philip Mpango, while representing President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan in an extraordinary virtual meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Tripartite Organisation for Cooperation in Politics, Security and Defence of the Southern African Development Community (SADC Organ Troika).

The VP said Tanzania fully supports SADC efforts to strengthen the defence and security situation in the Eastern DRC.

“Tanzania is fully committed to making an additional contribution to the establishment of the SADC Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC),” Dr Mpango said.

The meeting aimed at highlighting the security situation in the East of the DRC and in the North of the Republic of Mozambique. SADC member states also agreed to extend SADC Mission forces in Mozambique (SAMIM) for 12 months from July 16, 2023.

SAMIM is an active regional peacekeeping mission operated by the SADC in Northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province.

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