Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Southern Africa: Region's Peace Tops SADC Agenda

Photo: l'express.mu
Former president Marc Ravalomanana

THE security situation in the region topped the agenda of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika on Peace, Defence and Security meeting held in Dar es Salaam on Friday.

There was no immediate statement on what transpired at the meeting, chaired by President Jakaya Kikwete at the State House.

However, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe, earlier said that among other things, SADC member states were expected to pledge their support for an international neutral force to fight negative forces in the DRC, including the M23 rebels.

The main SADC summit, which will focus on the crisis in the eastern DRC and mediation in Zimbabwe, is to take place in Dar es Salaam today. Tanzania has already pledged to provide one battalion of 800 troops to the peacekeeping mission. Zimbabwe is expected to be part of the agenda at the summit.

South African President Jacob Zuma is the chief SADC mediator on Zimbabwe. It is also expected that the Summit will 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 Mr Zuma's facilitation team, which was briefed on the constitution-making process and preparations for next year's elections. The summit, which starts today at 10am, 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. The meeting of the SADC troika on politics and defence is currently chaired by Tanzania, with South Africa and Angola. Tanzania is the current Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, whilst the Republics of South Africa and Namibia complete the Troika of the Organ.

When President Kikwete took over the chair of Troika in August this year, he said high on agenda during his one-year tenure would be to deal with the ongoing war in the eastern DRC, the political stalemate in Madagascar and Zimbabwe elections.

The meeting, which started yesterday afternoon, went on until 6pm with various heads of state and representatives from SADC member countries in attendance. Some of the heads of state who arrived yesterday include Mr Zuma, his International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Namibia's President Hifikepunye Pohamba. Others are SADC Secretary General Tomaz Salomão and former Mozambique President Joachim Chissano. DRC President Joseph Kabila was expected in Dar es Salaam last night.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 Tanzania Daily News. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

SADC to Deploy Neutral Force in DR Congo

M23 troops Bunagana 3

The Southern African Development Community will send neutral troops to DR Congo, as the region tries to deal with the conflict between the M23 rebels and the government. Read more »

Deposed Madagascar President Out of 2013 Poll Race

Former president Marc Ravalomanana

Exiled former president Marc Ravalomanana will not be part of 2013 elections, as part of SADC resolutions which also included a ban for his rival, Andry Rajoelina. Read more »