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Security situation in eastern DRC tops agenda as Hichilema leads SADC organ to deliberate solutions


President Hakainde Hichilema is expected to convene an extraordinary Organ Troika Summit to deliberate on the security situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced.

Hichilema would convene the summit in his capacity as Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation, reads the statement issued in Lusaka on Wednesday.

The Ministry said the summit would update on pledged critical capabilities for SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo and progress made towards deployment in the eastern DRC, particularly the revised indicative budget for the mission.

“The summit will be attended by Tanzania President, Sammia Hassan, the Incoming Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Namibian President Hage Geingob, Outgoing Chairperson and DRC President Félix Tshisekedi,” it said.

The Ministry said it was in Zambia’s interest to support efforts towards the SADC Mission in DRC in order to maintain regional peace and stability, a prerequisite for advancing intra-regional trade and investment, which are critical for socio-economic development.

It said the deployment of a Brigade-size Force in support of the DRC for an initial period of 12 months, beginning on September 30, 2023, was approved at the Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit Plus SADC Troika and Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries and the DRC on May 11, 2023, in Windhoek, Namibia.

Read More: Truck drivers threaten to halt operations, give DRC three weeks ultimate to improve security

“Additionally, the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) report on the harmonised elections in the Republic of Zimbabwe as well as other impending elections in the SADC region will also be discussed at the Summit,” the Ministry said.

It said that the values and principles that underpin the promotion of democracy and good governance are also the foundation of Zambia’s foreign policy.

The Ministry said the Summit would be preceded by a Virtual Extraordinary Council of Ministers Meeting, which was scheduled to take place on September 27, 2023, from 09:00 to 12:30 hours.

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