By Staff Reporter
WINDHOEK, May 8 — President Hage G. Geingob of Namibia, who also serves as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, gave a speech during the official opening ceremony of the SADC Extra-Ordinary Organ Troika Summit Plus SADC Troika, and Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries. The summit was held in Windhoek, Namibia on May 8, 2023, to address the current security situation in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
President Geingob stated that the meeting aimed to discuss the findings of the SADC Field Assessment Mission to the Eastern DRC conducted in March 2023, and to prepare for the upcoming Tripartite Summit of SADC, the East African Community, and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), with the support of the UN and AU. The summit is expected to become a Quadripartite Summit to include the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
The president emphasized that SADC’s focus on promoting and safeguarding peace, security, and stability in the region stems from the principles outlined in the SADC Treaty signed in Windhoek in August 1992. He mentioned that the Foundation Pillar of the 2020-2030 RISDP, which focuses on Peace, Security, and Good Governance, includes projects such as the “Management of Terrorism Project” and the “Strengthening the Capacity of SADC Standby Force for Peace Support (PSO) and Humanitarian Operations.”
President Geingob expressed SADC’s readiness to address the changing dynamics in the Eastern DRC, including the resurgence of the M23 and the proliferation of illegal armed groups. He acknowledged the efforts of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), which has been deployed in the region as part of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to secure the area and restore its territorial integrity. The president expressed gratitude to the Troop Contributing Countries of the FIB for their contributions.
As the DRC is expected to hold elections at the end of 2023, President Geingob stated that SADC will consider ways to strengthen its efforts in solidarity with the people of the DRC. He emphasized the need for SADC to work together with the East African Community and other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to coordinate efforts in support of the government and people of the DRC.
The president concluded by stating that SADC must focus on eradicating illegal armed groups and securing and consolidating the territorial integrity and future of the DRC, whose socio-economic development is intertwined with the region’s developmental goals. He thanked the attendees and emphasized the importance of collective efforts to promote peace, security, and stability in the region. – Namibia Daily News