8 December 2012

Southern Africa: SADC Summit Starts in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam — The Extraordinary Summit of heads of State of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) started Saturday in Tanzania, under the institution's chairman Armando Guebuza.

The event will discuss the main issue in agenda of analysis of the political and military situation in the DRC, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

Angola will be represented by the vice-president, Manuel Vicente at the summit that will also gather, among others, the presidents Jakaia Kikwete, of Tanzania, Joseph Kabila (DRC), Jacob Zuma (S Africa), and Joice Banda (Malawi).

The Angolan Foreign Minister, Georges Chikoti, who was speaking Friday in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, ahead of the Summit of Heads of State and Government said that he hopes that SADC can address in an effort to monitor the negotiation efforts that are underway in Kampala, among the governments of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and the rebels (Movement-23).

The official also said that the organisation has a different intention because the Summit of the Heads of States of the Great Lakes made many concessions to the rebels, having a privileged position in the talks.

According to him, this situation worries the SADC because the DRC had requested a neutral intervention force of which the community would participate.

On the other hand, the Foreign Affairs minister who quoted the military experts, said that the intervention force would attract 100 million dollars and four thousand members.

Georges Chikoti also stressed that the Dar Es Salaam meeting the SADC leaders will produce a statement accordingly with the UN report that condemns the involvement of Rwandan and Ugandan troops in the last attack that resulted in the seizure of northern

province of Kivu, especially its Goma city, by the rebels.

The UN report clearly blames on Rwandan and Ugandan troops for the attack against DRC, and SADC should be pleased with the condemnation of this action, the minister underlined.

As for Madagascar, the Angolan top diplomat said that the political situation will be reviewed in the light of the report that the mediator of the conflict, the Mozambican Joaquim Chissano, will submit at the meeting.

He said that the situation is changing for holding the elections, but there are two hindrances.

One related to the electoral budget and the other approval of an amnesty law that enables the participation in the election of ousted President Marc Ravalomanana.

With regard to Zimbabwe, Georges Chikoti said that the participants will review the degree of fulfilment of the commitments made by the government and the opposition, as the latest developments suggests that the country may move to the referendum on peace.

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