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SADC and Great Lakes leaders concerned about events in the DRC

SADC and Great Lakes leaders concerned about events in the DRC

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The electoral situation in the DRC was at the heart of a summit of Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region held in Brazzaville, Congo.

The sub-regional bodies are concerned about the political situation in the country barely a week to an election that has already been postponed for the third time.

There was no representative from the Democratic Republic of Congo during Wednesday’s meeting.

Brazzaville has every interest in taking this initiative because Brazzaville and Kinshasa are the two closest capitals in the world. You will realize that whatever is happening in DRC has an impact in Brazzaville. I would say Brazzaville is playing it safe. So, as a wise politician, President Sassou Nguesso is playing

Congo’s foreign affairs minister, Jean-Claude Gakosso, read out the communique issued at the end of the mini-summit.

“The Heads of State called on the political class and civil society to calm down and exercise restraint in order to hold the elections in a calm atmosphere. The Heads of State welcomed the deployment by the African Union, SADC, and the Great Lakes community observation missions to monitor the electoral process.”

They strongly encouraged the DRC to ensure the security of all candidates contesting the poll.

However, there was no particular emphasis on the need to hold the election at all costs on 30 December.

A Congolese political scientist, Constant Ibara welcomed the summit organised under the auspices of president Sassou Nguesso.

“Brazzaville has every interest in taking this initiative because Brazzaville and Kinshasa are the two closest capitals in the world. You will realize that whatever is happening in DRC has an impact in Brazzaville. I would say Brazzaville is playing it safe. So, as a wise politician, President Sassou Nguesso is playing his cards well”

The communique simply “took note” of the postponement of the elections and recalled their “deep commitment” to holding “peaceful, free, democratic and transparent” elections.

The heads of state failed to make any explicit reaction to the decision by DR Congo’s electoral body, CENI to postpone the election in several cities and territories in the east of the country.

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