Southern Africa: SADC Leaders Call for Sovereignty Respect in DRC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders have called upon the international community to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in accordance with the AU Constitutive Act and the SADC Treaty.

The leaders made the statement at the Double Troika Summit held in Ethiopia, which reviewed and assessed the political situation in the DRC following the recently held elections.

In a communique, the leaders called upon the international community to support the government of the DRC to maintain a peaceful and stable environment and avoid actions that are prejudicial to the electoral process.

"The summit recognized and underscored the role of the Constitutional Court of the DRC and called upon the international community to respect the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the internal legal and political processes for the finalisation of the electoral process," the leaders said.

Furthermore, the called for the continued implementation of the peace, security and co-operation framework in the DRC and the region.

Last week, the DRC electoral commission, CENI, released provisional results, which declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo as the newly elected President.

Runner-up and opposition leader Martin Fayulu is contesting the election results and has appealed to the DRC's Constitutional Court to cancel the provisional result.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) also joined Fayulu and disputed the interim results.

Despite the tensions, the leaders encouraged the government of the DRC to continue maintaining peace and security in the country as they did when going to the polls.

"The summit took note of the election petition filed in the Constitutional Court challenging the provisional results of the presidential election and called upon all the Congolese People and all the concerned political stakeholders to remain calm and act in a way that consolidates democracy and preserves peace, and to address any electoral grievances in line with the DRC's Constitution and relevant electoral laws," the communique reads.

The regional leaders reaffirmed their commitment to continuously support the DRC political processes, especially with respect to neutralising the negative forces and other armed groups operating in eastern DRC, and to remain seized with the matter.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was among the regional leaders who attended the Double Troika Summit.

Others included Angola's President João Lourenço, Namibian President Hage Geingob and Zambia's President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, among other representatives.

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