THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States have been called upon to form a regional coalition as part of their concerted efforts to eradicate armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that pose insecurity and instability threats to the region.
Delivering his maiden speech at the 39th Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government, which started in Dar es Salaam yesterday, DRC President Tshisekedi informed delegates that the eastern part of his country was experiencing insecurity caused by internal and external armed groups.
He said there was a need for SADC member states to come up with a resolution that would strengthen the peacekeeping force operating under the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission (Monusco) so that it could be more effective in its mission. “These rebel groups have been a threat to the DRC as well as the entire regional bloc.
That’s why we developed a programme to try to stop this insecurity in the eastern part of our country in favour of the reconciliation of sons and daughters of my country,” he said.
President Tshisekedi added that “according to the Charter of our organisation I would like to request your solidarity with my country and my people so that at the end of this meeting we can have a resolution to strengthen security in the DRC and eradicate all armed groups creating confusion in the country.”
He, however, commended SADC member states for their support during the very critical moment which helped to avoid the implosion of his country and favour the ultimate political change experienced after the General Election in December 2018.
President Tshisekedi further expressed gratitude to Namibian President Hage Gottfried Geingob, who is also outgoing chairman of SADC, for advancing the industrialisation programme of the region.
He said the programme was crucial as it emphasised the development of infrastructure, youth empowerment, the promotion of women and sustainable development.
Referring to this year’s SADC summit “A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Trade and Job Creation” he said it was very important as the DRC was sharing borders with other nine countries. He noted that his country remained a key player to the development of the regional bloc.
“I commit to pursuing the proximity policy of the regional bloc with all SADC countries… I am going to take this regional integration and make it a reality by establishing infrastructure to connect to some regional programmes,” he said.
President Tshisekedi noted “my wish is to see that all the population of our regional bloc moves freely from one place to another such as from the Indian Ocean to Atlantic Ocean.”
He said the DRC offered a lot of opportunities to SADC countries, noting that if well harnessed the potential could satisfy the needs of the regional bloc and beyond Africa’s borders.
He stressed that the current summit would lead to concrete resolutions to create a secured trade environment leading to industrial development, inclusive and sustainable development in SADC.