25 April 2018

Southern Africa: SADC Happy With Progress in DR Congo

Regional bloc SADC has commended Namibian ex-president Hifikepunye Pohamba for his role as the bloc's special envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders meeting in the Angolan capital Luanda, also acknowledged the progress made by the DRC parties in the implementation of the December 2016 Political Agreement.

"The summit revisited its decision to deploy a SADC Special Envoy to the DRC, and expressed its appreciation to the Republic of Namibia and His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba for his readiness and acceptance to serve as the SADC Special Envoy to the DRC," SADC said in a communiqué.

The situation

Mr Pohamba was appointed to the role in November 2017 after he had left office at the end of his second five-year term in March 2015, abiding by the Namibian constitution.

Elections in DRC are scheduled to take place on December 23, 2018.

The SADC leaders gathered in Luanda for an extraordinary summit to analyse the situation in DRC and Lesotho.

The summit called upon all the stakeholders in Lesotho to accord the National Dialogue and the reforms processes the seriousness they deserve.

It, however, noted the progress made by the SADC Preventive Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SAPMIL) and approved its extension for a further six months, from May 2018 to November 2018.

The chairmanship

The Luanda meeting featured leaders from the host nation, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, DRC and Lesotho.

South Africa currently holds the chairmanship of the 16-member SADC bloc.

Angola heads the SADC Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation organ.

Botswana hosts the SADC Secretariat while Namibia will take over the bloc's chairmanship from South Africa later this year.

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