SADC Troika notes positive developments in eastern DRC

02 Jan 2014 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 02 JAN (NAMPA) – A Ministerial Committee of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security has noted the positive developments in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with regards to the successful dislodging of the M23 rebels from eastern DRC in October 2013.
This announcement was made following a one-day meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security here on 29 December 2013.
The meeting was amongst others attended by Minister of Defence Nahas Angula, and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Lesotho (Kenneth Mohlabi Tsekoa); Malawi (Ephraim Mganda Chiume); and Tanzania (Mahadhi Maalim).
The gathering discussed and reviewed the political situation in the region, and in particular the situation in the Republic of Madagascar following the successful 2013 presidential and legislative elections.
A statement issued on Thursday by the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Selma Ashipala-Musavyi following that meeting said the participants noted the signing of a communique and declaration on the peace process between the DRC government and M23 rebels.
The rebels are named after a peace agreement they signed with the Congolese government on 23 March 2009, when they were fighting as part of a group calling itself the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP).
The Organ noted that the general political and security situation in the SADC region remains relatively stable.
The meeting further received an update by the SADC mediator for Madagascar, former president of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano, on the political and security situation during the 2013 presidential and legislative elections.
The meeting further noted that the election process was peaceful, free and transparent, and commended the people and the presidential and legislative candidates for the orderly manner in which they participated in the electoral process.
The results of the second round of election, which took place on 20 December 2013, are expected to be released on Friday this week. These results for the legislative elections are to be released on 18 Feb 2014.
The meeting further commended the international community for supporting the peace process in Madagascar, and urged them to support Madagascar towards the development process.
“The troika assured the people and government of Madagascar that SADC stands ready to help Madagascar address the challenges of national reconciliation, re-building the country and re-launching the development process,” read the statement.
The Troika further recommended consideration of the lifting of sanctions against Madagascar, and convening of a pledging conference for Madagascar upon the successful completion of the electoral process.
The strengthening and upgrading of the level of the SADC Liaison Office of Madagascar was also recommended.
“In this regard the government of Namibia offered to provide a senior official at the level of Ambassador to head the liaison office,” read the statement.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah headed the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the Madagascar elections.
The SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security is managed on a Troika basis, and is responsible for promoting peace and security in the SADC region.
Namibia took over the leadership of the Organ during the annual SADC Heads of State and Government Summit, which took place in Lilongwe, Malawi in August 2013.