Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

9 March 2014

Southern Africa: SADC to Work Towards Ensuring Peace and Security Within the Region

Lilongwe — The Southern African Development Community (SADC) organ on defense and security affairs has said it will continue to work towards ensuring that the region continues to enjoy peace and stability.

This comes as the SADC community is currently working towards the processes of regional integration and is also currently holding a council of ministers meeting in Lilongwe.

Director of the organ which was established to be addressing issues of security and diplomacy within the region Tanki Mothae, said during a press conference in Lilongwe that processes of regional integration could face challenges in regions that have no peace.

"Without peace, the economic integration becomes a little bit difficult. At the same time, once economic integration has taken place, a very conducive environment of peace and security also becomes.

"As the director of this organ, our job is to facilitate the maintenance of peace within our region and ensuring of democracy and good governance as guided by the national constitutions and our principals covering democratic elections," said Mothae.

Mothae further said of top of its activities is the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"We currently have a situation in the Eastern DRC where our also brothers and sisters from this country have been deployed under the auspices of the United Nations to assist Congo stabilize and at least attain authority in that part of the region.

"These are the efforts that we are pursuing as an organization, and as a secretariat our job is to facilitate these processes and coordinate activities of the member states to ensure that this is undertaken," said Mothae.

The director also said the organ has over the years made achievements in realization of its goals.

One of the notable things was Zimbabwe to which he said had some challenges with from around 2008.

According to him SADC focused on assisting Zimbabwe get out of the situation and recently the country went to democratic elections which went on very well.

He also said the recent welcoming back of Madagascar into SADC and the African Union was also an initiative of SADC.

Mothae then said the SADC secretariat and the region as a whole is getting ready to assist its five member countries that are going for elections this year for them to go through the processes as per the provisions and guidelines of having democratic elections and their constitutions stipulate.

During the conference, Mothae also hailed the SADC region for being an example of democracy.

"We have classic examples of democracy and good governance in the SADC region. SADC out of almost all the regions on the continent is the most stable.

"This is so because SADC developed what is called the principles and guidelines for democratic elections focusing mainly on how member states could conform to their constitutional requirements of democratic governance," said Mothae.

The organ also has another wing which helps to ensure that good governance is maintained which is the defense and security component whose focus is mainly to assist a member state that faces a peace and security challenge.

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