The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has tasked political stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to ensure that elections slated for December this year are conducted in a conducive atmosphere.
Leaders of the southern Africa regional bloc met in the Angolan capital Luanda as part of the SADC Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government on 24th April 2018.
The DRC featured prominently in a communique issued at the end of the summit. Whiles calling for credible polls, it also announced that an envoy will be sent to the country as part of its efforts to help DRC through the elections and transition.
Summit called on all stakeholders in the DRC to remain committed to the implementation of the electoral calendar and ensure a conducive environment for the holding of peaceful credible elections.
Other issued in the communique were the recent riots in Madagascar where the SADC is set to deploy ex-Mozambican leader Joaquim Chissano as an envoy and the situation in Lesotho after months of political and military tensions.
The body failed to state clearly a key sticking point which was to do with Kabila expressly stating that he was not going to contest. Kabila who personally attended was joined by five other presidents and in the case of Tanzania, vice-president Samia Suluhu represented Magufuli at the summit.
The parts that directly related to the DRC were as follows:
12. Summit noted the progress made in the implementation of the December 2016 Political Agreement, and in the electoral calendar in the DRC, for the Elections which are scheduled to take place on the 23rd of December 2018, and Summit commended the Government of the DRC, Political Stakeholders, and the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) for the progress made.
13.Summit called on all stakeholders in the DRC to remain committed to the implementation of the electoral calendar and ensure a conducive environment for the holding of peaceful credible elections.
14.Summit further noted the substantive progress made in DRC and revisited its decision to deploy a SADC Special Envoy to the DRC, and expressed its appreciation to the Republic of Namibia and His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba, the former President of the Republic of Namibia, for his readiness and acceptance to serve as the SADC Special Envoy to the DRC.
15.Summit assured the DRC on its continued support to the electoral process and to the enhancement of political stability, peace and security.