Mozambican Capital Hosts an Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State And Government of the Southern African Development Community
The Mozambican capital on Friday hosts an extraordinary summit of heads of state and government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to discuss the latest political developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC).
The summit will be attended by Tanzania’s President Jalaya Kikwete and the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Joseph Kabila.
A media statement from the President’s office says the summit is convened at the initiative of by the Mozambican head of state Armando Guebuza, who is currently acting chairman of the regional organization, while President Kikwete chairs the bloc’s Troika of the SADC Organ for Cooperation on Politics, Defence and Security.
During the SADC summit on peace and security held in early December last year in Dar-Es-Salaam, it was decided to provide about 4000 soldiers to join the International Force Neutral (FIN) which will operate in eastern DRC against the actions of the M23 rebels.
So far, 3000 soldiers are part of a SADC force on alert, activated by a decision of the SADC extraordinary summit that will be part of the FIN. Tanzania has promised about 800 troops.
It is estimated that maintaining a neutral force will cost the SADC region about $100 million.
At the same meeting, SADC concluded that the UN force, MONUSCO, which is in the region, has been dealing with the problem, which is why this summit urged the world body to change the mandate of its force, by order to give it powers of reaction in case of direct armed attacks.
Moreover, the summit reaffirmed the indivisibility and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC and expressed deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the east of the country.
The SADC also condemned the group M23 and its attacks against civilians, forces of UN peacekeeping and humanitarian agencies, among other ills.
Last January, at the Summit of the Troika Organ for Politics, Defence and Security, SADC also held in Tanzania, were extolled the contributions of South Africa, Namibia, Malawi and Tanzania to the unfolding of the Neutral Intervention Force.
The troika expressed a desire to work together with the United Nations in preparing the joint force, particularly in the financial and logistical support, as well as the need to work with the Great Lakes Conference in the process of restoration of normalcy in the political situation of the DRC.
The high level meeting is scheduled to arrive in Maputo from Tanzanian President and Chairman of the Troika of the SADC Organ for Cooperation on Politics, Defence and Security, Jakaya Kikweti, and President Kabila.
Source African Press Agency
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