Southern Africa: SADC Reaffirms Unwavering Diplomatic, Military Support to War-Torn DRC

Heads of State and Governments under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to providing both diplomatic and military support to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to enable the country find lasting solutions to the violent conflict in Eastern DRC.

The leaders also pledged to intensify its public diplomacy on the role and successes of the SADC Peace Support Missions, including the SAMIM and SAMIDRC, to avoid negative external narratives that may compromise the success of the SADC Peace Support Missions.

The SADC Heads of State and Government made their pledge at the end of the Extraordinary SADC Summit, which took place in Lusaka, Zambia, on Saturday.

Malawi leader, President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, attended the summit, which discussed a number of issues affecting the region, including security and defense.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema opened the summit in his capacity as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

The summit 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”.

It commended Member States for demonstrating the spirit of

collective regional solidarity through their continued contribution and support to SAMIM and SAMIDRC.

“Summit reiterated its support to the political and diplomatic processes namely, the Luanda Process, led by His Excellency João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola and the African Union Champion for Peace and

Reconciliation in Africa, and the Nairobi Process, led by His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, former President of the Republic of Kenya. Summit expressed gratitude to the African Union Commission and the United Nations Security Council for the solidarity and support towards the SAMIDRC, which is a SADC regional response complementing other on-going diplomatic and political

processes in support of the Government of the DRC,” reads a communique in part.

But the summit disapproved of the contents of the correspondence from the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations and African Union Commission concerning support to SAMIDRC.

Instead, it 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 Co-operation and the SADC Mutual Defence Pact.

Speaking before his departure at Kamuzu International Airport, President Chakwera emphasized on the significance of the Extraordinary SADC Summit in bolstering cooperation among Southern African nations.

He said the summit will help in addressing pressing regional issues, particularly in the realm of security.

“In attending this summit, Malawi seeks to strengthen ties with our neighbouring countries and collectively address the security challenges facing our region,” Chakwera said.

Furthermore, the Malawi leader outlined his agenda for the summit, citing food security as a top priority for Malawi.

He pledged to advocate for comprehensive strategies to combat food insecurity and promote agricultural development in the region.

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