Consolidation of peace, security and political stability in Lesotho and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) dominated the Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
SADC Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation met in Dar es Salaam to assess the progress made on the security and political stability of the Kingdom of Lesotho and DRC.
Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO), Dr Augustine Mahiga, led the meeting.
In his opening remarks, Dr Mahiga said the meeting centrally aimed at receiving and considering the progress made by Lesotho on the roadmap for reforms and implementations of all SADC decisions by the Troika Summit that convened on August in Lozitha, Kingdom of Swaziland.
“It is my expectation that following the deliberations, the status of implementation of all summit decisions by the government of Lesotho will enable us to advise the chairperson and the organ in general on the best course of action in respect of continued support to Lesotho to reach a desirable political stability and tranquility,’’ he said.
Lesotho has witnessed political violence in recent times, including an attempted coup and last year’s assassination of former Lesotho Defence Force Commander Maaparankoe Mahao. According to Dr Mahiga, the meeting also considered the report of the organ Troika Ministerial Assessment Mission deployed to DRC between October 10 and 13, 2016 as directed by the organs Chairperson, President John Magufuli.
Tanzania assumed the chairmanship of SADC Troika on Politics, Defence and Security at the regional block’s 36 Summit of Heads of State and Government in Mbabane, Swaziland, two months ago.
Dr Magufuli directed that the Organ Troika Ministerial Assessment Mission be deployed to DRC, following the violent demonstrations in Kinshasa, Goma and Lubumbashi in September, 2016. The demos resulted into fatalities to innocent civilians and police officers as well as destruction of property.
“Since the conclusion of the Ministerial Troika’s Assessment, a comprehensive political agreement was signed on October 18 amongst the parties participating in the dialogue ... this important agreement, among others, set the election date to April 2018,’’ said Dr Mahiga.