SADC stands firm

  • Troika Summit reaches consensus to provide support in fight against armed groups in DRC
  • Reiterates call for immediate cessation of hostilities by all armed groups

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday took part at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit (EO-OTS), which reached a consensus to provide unwavering support in the fight against armed groups in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The support from SADC is envisioned to pave the way for sustainable peace, security and prosperity of the people of the country and the region as a whole.

The meeting which also featured the SADC Troika Plus Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) Troop Contributing Countries convened in Windhoek, Namibia and attended by Heads of State and Government from Angola, DRC, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

According to the Communique of the meeting, immediate regional support was needed for the government of the DRC to address the prevailing security situation in the Eastern part of the country ahead of the national election scheduled to be held in December this year.

“The Summit noted with great concern the unstable and deteriorating security situation prevailing in the Eastern DRC and reiterated its strong condemnation of the upsurge of conflict and activities of armed groups including the resurgence of M23 rebels in the DRC.

“They also reiterated a call for immediate cessation of hostilities by all armed groups and unconditional withdrawal from the current occupied areas,” stated the Communique.

Besides, the summit expressed deep condolences to the government and the people of the DR Congo for the loss of lives during armed conflicts in Eastern DRC and Malawi following the loss of lives and infrastructure as a result of the tropical cyclone Freddy.

The summit approved the deployment of a SADC force in the framework of the SADC standby force as a regional response in support of the DRC to restore peace and security in Eastern DRC.

Also, approved a common position to have a more coordinated approach given the multiple deployment and multilateral and bilateral arrangements in the Eastern, urging the government of DR Congo to put in place the necessary conditions and measures for effective coordination amongst sub-regional forces bilateral partners operating in the DRC.

The summit, however, welcomed the agreement by the African Union Commission supporting the convening of the Quadripartite Summit to support the coordination of the peace process in the DR Congo.

“The Summit acknowledged the expression of gratitude to the President of DR Congo Félix Tshisekedi who is also the SADC Chairperson for continued support, collaboration and cooperation toward the attainment of lasting peace and security in the Eastern DR Congo,” stated the Communique.

Earlier on his opening remarks, the SADC Chair of Organ Troika Extra-Ordinary Summit plus the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) Dr Hage Geingob expressed commitment to deal with political threats in the region as well as put in place relevant structures.

He also vowed to continue strengthening them in order to bring about the desired results of safeguarding the region’s peace and stability.

“We stand ready as a region to address the changing dynamics in Eastern DRC because of the resurgence of the M23 last year,” he said.

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