6 December 2012

Southern Africa: Nation Part of SADC Summit Agenda

Photo: Zimbabwe Independent
Supporters of President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

Zimbabwe will be part of the agenda at a SADC summit being held in Dar-es-Salaam this weekend to discuss the crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Jacob Zuma, who is the chief mediator on Zimbabwe, is expected to attend, together with the SADC Troika on Politics and Defence, currently chaired by Tanzania.

A well-placed source in South Africa's international relations department told the media that while, "the issue of the DRC will dominate the agenda, the meeting on December 7 and 8 will also hear a report from Tanzania on the SADC mediation on Madagascar and a report from South Africa on [the] mediation in Zimbabwe."

The report on Zimbabwe follows a visit to Harare last week by Zuma's facilitation team, which was briefed on the constitution-making process and preparations for next year's elections.

During the team's visit both the MDC-T and MDC-N expressed serious concerns at the slow pace of reforms, and blamed ZANU PF of pussyfooting around, ahead of the elections.

The Dar-es-Salaam summit is part of diplomatic efforts to stem the crisis in the DRC which saw the strategic eastern city of Goma falling under the control of the M23 rebels, raising fears of a broader regional conflict. The rebels have since pulled out, but regional leaders are anxious to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

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