Peace deal for DRC, Mozambique

24 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Peace deal for DRC, Mozambique

The Sunday Mail

Kinshasa, Kigali open lines of communication after Sadc mediation

Lovemore Chikova in LUSAKA, Zambia

SADC has adopted a two-pronged approach to bring peace and security to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Mozambique, emphasising diplomatic and military support for the two countries.

This was one of the resolutions made at the SADC Double Troika Summit yesterday, which included countries that have contributed troops for military support to the DRC, which is experiencing instability in the east, and Mozambique, which is battling insurgents in the northern Cabo Delgado province.

President Mnangagwa attended the summit because Zimbabwe is part of the SADC Troika as the incoming chair.

The country has also committed troops towards the Mozambican cause.

The DRC is fighting M23 rebels in the eastern part of the country, although several other small, armed groups are operating in the region, while Mozambique has been battling armed gangs linking themselves to the terror group, Islamic State.

However, it is understood that the DRC and Rwanda, which have been recently clashing over instability in the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, have since opened lines of communication as a result of SADC’s mediation, raising hopes for a breakthrough.

On the military front, the regional body will continue to support its armed missions in the DRC and Mozambique, while diplomatically it will support the Luanda Process led by Angolan President João Lourenço, the African Union Champion for Peace and Reconciliation in Africa; and the Nairobi Process led by former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In a communique read by SADC Executive Secretary Mr Elias Magosi at the end of the summit, the regional body said it was committed to supporting the DRC and Mozambique to attain lasting peace, stability and security.

“Summit reiterated its unwavering commitment to provide both diplomatic and military support to the government and people of the DRC to find lasting solutions to the violent conflict in eastern DRC; and pledged to intensify its public diplomacy on the role and successes of the SADC peace support missions, including the SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique) and SAMIDRC (SADC Mission in the DRC), to avoid negative external narratives that may compromise the success of the SADC peace support missions,” said Mr Magosi.

The summit received updates on the peace and security situation in the two countries.

It commended countries that have contributed troops for their dedicated service towards preserving peace and security in the region.

The leaders reiterated the regional commitment expressed in the SADC Mutual Defence Pact that “an armed attack against one shall be deemed a threat to regional peace and security”, and commended member states for demonstrating the spirit of collective regional solidarity through their continued contribution and support to SAMIM and SAMIDRC.

The summit thanked the African Union Commission and the United Nations Security Council for their solidarity and support towards the mission in the DRC.

It disapproved of the contents of recent correspondence from Rwanda to the two bodies, discouraging them from funding and recognising the SADC mission in the DRC.

“Summit reiterated that the deployment of SAMIDRC is to restore the peace and security of the DRC and that it is aligned to the SADC Treaty, the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and the SADC Mutual Defence Pact,” added Mr Magosi.

It turned out that the summit to bring peace and stability in the DRC and Mozambique was held on Southern Africa Liberation Day, which falls on March 23 every year.

The summit then noted SADC chairperson President Lourenço’s statement to mark the day, highlighting the historical significance of the liberation struggle and reaffirming SADC’s commitment to the ideals of solidarity, self-determination and regional cooperation.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, who chaired the summit in his capacity as chair of the SADC Organ Troika, said during their meeting, the leaders underscored the duty to bring peace and security in both the DRC and Mozambique.

“In these areas of conflict, SADC has for some time been in Mozambique and has had the presence to support the local family member of our security systems to maintain peace and stability in that part of Mozambique,” he said.

“We have continued to provide our support and obviously in the eastern DRC, which is the new ambition of the SADC mission, and is setting itself up, all the processes around it, resource envelops that are required around it, the military, the non-military side, including financial and other resources.”

Apart from President Mnangagwa, the other Heads of State at the summit were President Lourenço, President Hichilema, President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi, President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, President Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC and Lesotho Prime Minister Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane.

Namibia was represented by Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, while Tanzania had Vice President Philip Mpango, Botswana had Minister of Defence Thomas Mmusi and South Africa was represented by Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

The extraordinary summit included the SADC Double Troika (made up of the SADC Organ Troika and the SADC Troika) and countries that have contributed troops to the SADC mission in the DRC and the mission in Mozambique.

The DRC and Mozambique were invited as the concerned parties.

The SADC Organ Troika is made up of Zambia as chair, the United Republic of Tanzania as the incoming chair and Namibia as the outgoing chair.

The SADC Troika comprises Angola as the chair of SADC, Zimbabwe (incoming chair) and the DRC (outgoing chair).

Countries contributing troops to the Mozambican mission are Angola, Botswana, the DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

For the DRC mission, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania have contributed troops to work with the government in suppressing insurgents in the east.

Ahead of the extraordinary SADC Double Troika summit yesterday, the ministerial committee of the organ held its extraordinary meeting on Friday to consider reports from security chiefs from the region, who were meeting earlier in the week.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Frederick Shava was part of that meeting.

President Mnangagwa being welcomed by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Martin Rushwaya (left) and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere (right) on his arrival from the SADC Extraordinary Summit of the Organ Troika, in Lusaka, Zambia at Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare today.-Picture: Memory Mangombe

The SADC Organ Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government held on August 16, 2023 endorsed the extension of the Mozambican mission by 12 months from July 16 last year to July 15 this year in preparation for its exit.

The same summit also directed that the mission’s leadership commence a phased withdrawal by December 15 last year and complete the withdrawal in July this year.

On the other hand, the 43rd Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in August last year in Angola approved the deployment of the SADC mission in the DRC.

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