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The implementation of the deployment of the SADC Mission to the DRC (SAMIDRC) has faced obstacles, particularly pertaining to the mobilisation of the essential resources for deployment.
This was revealed by the SADC Executive Secretary Elias Magosi during the Virtual Extraordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government this week.
Magosi noted that the extra-ordinary Summit was convened to consider the revised budget for the deployment, more so that the Government of the DRC is preparing for elections scheduled for December 2023.
This he said makes the significance of the intervention even more apparent, as it will enable the citizens of the DRC to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
“I also wish to report that the Chiefs of Defence of the Quadripartite members, namely East African Community (EAC), Economic Commission for Central African States (ECCAS), International Commission for the Great Lakes Region (ICGRL) and SADC, convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 06 October 2023 under the coordination of the African Union, and with the involvement of the United Nations,” he said.
Magosi noted that during this meeting, the Chiefs of Defence, among other things, reiterated the importance of harmonising and coordinating with existing missions, including MONUSCO and EAC Regional Force. He stressed that the discussion took into consideration the planned deployment of the SAMIDRC, thus making decisions in the summit crucial in ensuring coordination of all efforts by various stakeholders involved in peace initiatives in the DRC.
The security situation in the eastern part of the DRC remains a great concern to the SADC region because of the resurgence of Armed Groups, including M23 that claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people, including women, children and the elderly.
Magosi has since revealed that the region is actively engaged in on-going efforts to find a long-lasting solution to the security challenges facing the eastern DRC. This he said is in line with one of the principles spelt out in Article 4 of the SADC Treaty calls for SADC Member States to adhere to solidarity, peace, and security.
“You may recall that, following the reports of the deteriorating security situation in the eastern DRC, a Field Assessment Mission was undertaken in the DRC at the beginning of 2023,” he said.
Findings of the assessment were thoroughly considered by the Organ Troika Summit, which subsequently approved a regional intervention to support the efforts of the government of the DRC in addressing the security challenges in the eastern part of the country through, amongst others, the deployment of the SADC Mission to the DRC (SAMIDRC).
In an interview, minister of defence and security Kagiso Mmusi said that the summit has agreed that the Army Commanders of South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi who have already voluntarily deployed their commanders to the DRC must collaborate and write a detailed report. He noted that the report is expected to serve as a guide, explaining the current situation of the conflict and proposing strategic measures for the way forward. Mmusi said that following the release of the report SADC member states will then convene in Luanda Angola this Saturday to agree on their way forward.