SADC ministers discuss the political, security situation in the region
The Southern African Development Community (SADC), as a region, continues to strive towards greater democratic principles, to ensure the rule of law and good governance, an official said Wednesday in Windhoek.
This is according to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Chair of the SADC ministerial committee of the organ, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, at the first in-person Ministerial Meeting of the Organ since Namibia took up the position of Chair.
“Namibia as Chair, led the SADC electoral observer missions to Angola and Lesotho respectively, to observe adherence to the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections. The elections in the respective countries were indeed peaceful, free, and fair, and reflected the will of the people,” she said.
The ministerial committee also converged to discuss the political and security situation in the region.
“Africa can only be stronger if we remain united. In this regard, in August 2022, the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government “expressed its dissatisfaction against the continent being targeted for unilateral and punitive measures through the ‘Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Bill’ that was adopted by the United States House of Representatives,” she said.
The Summit reaffirmed its principled position of Non-Alignment to any conflicts outside the Continent”, and proposed that this matter be discussed at the African Union, to formulate an African Common Position against interference on the African Continent by foreign powers, she added.
Meanwhile, Nandi-Ndaitwah noted that recent attacks in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have left hundreds dead and thousands displaced.
“These security threats by rebel forces continue to be of great concern to our region. These security challenges threaten our common aspirations for regional integration and further threaten to close the economic space for development and incentives for industries to grow and create sustainable jobs, in particular for women and youth,” she said.
In the spirit of collective security, Nandi-Ndaitwah said the Force Intervention Brigade, under the command of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), has been neutralizing negative forces in the eastern part of the DRC.
“We commend them for their steadfastness. We, however, note the tremendous challenges our troops (from Malawi, South Africa, and Tanzania) are facing, which requires the region to re-double its efforts to ensure stability in the DRC,” she said, adding that SADC will continue to remain seized with ensuring peace and stability.
The chair also said the meeting will also be provided an update on the security update in the Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique, where the region has deployed a military mission to neutralize the terrorist activities that have plagued that part of Mozambique.
“The region is in the process of transitioning to Scenario 5, a multidimensional mission, with police, correctional services, and civilian components, to ensure a holistic approach to supporting the people of Mozambique to recover from the terrible attacks over the last 5 years,” she said.
In a speech at the meeting, Acting Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security cooperation at the SADC Secretariat Kealeboga Moruti said regarding the consolidation of democracy and good governance, the region continues to register successes.
“SADC remains committed to finding lasting solutions to this security challenge, and continues to engage with the United Nations to enhance the operational capability,” she said.