Angola: SADC Calls for Peace Keeping in DRC

Addis Ababa — The Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia called on the international community to support the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in peacekeeping and stability efforts.

In a statement issued by the SADC Double Troika Summit, attended by the Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço (outgoing chairperson of the SADC Cooperation Body in the areas of Politics, Defense and Security), considers that the elections in that country were historical, but calls for avoidance of acts detrimental to the electoral process.

The DRC has been in a state of tension since the release of the provisional results of the presidential, legislative and provincial elections held on 30 December, which give victory to candidate Felix Tshisekedi and the Alliance for the Presidential Majority (AMP) party.

In recent days, accusations have been made by some international observers and the world press of alleged irregularities in the counting of votes, pointing to a supposed electoral victory of the candidate Martin Fayulu.

The Summit called for continued implementation of the framework of peace, security and cooperation in the DRC and in the region and reaffirmed SADC's commitment to support political processes in that country as well as neutralize negative forces and other groups operating in the East.

He also appealed to the international community to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC in the light of the Constitutive Charter of the African Union and the SADC Treaty.

SADC leaders welcomed the DRC government and the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) for organizing and conducting general peaceful elections, notwithstanding some incidents and logistical difficulties associated with the impediments caused by the outbreak of the Ebola virus and acts of insurrection against security.

They welcomed the Congolese people and all political actors for ensuring that the elections were held in a peaceful manner.

In addition to the Angolan President, the Summit was also attended by president Edgar Lungu of Zambia, which chairs the SADC Political Cooperation, Defense and Security Body, Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa - outgoing SADC President), and Hage Geingob (Namibia) leader of the regional body.

The Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço, is also attending another summit, chaired by the Acting President of the African Union, Paul Kagame, which gathers 10 African Heads of State aimed also at high-level consultations on the political situation in the DRC.

Both summits were preceded by ministerial meetings, in which Angola was represented by Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto.

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