43rd SADC Summit: “Progress made to silence the guns” – SADC Organ Troika

SANF 23 no 13 – by Clarkson Mambo in Luanda, Angola

The Southern African Development Community remains largely peaceful and significant progress has been made in the past year in “silencing the guns” although some challenges remain.

The chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, President Hage G. Geingob of Namibia, said this at a Summit of the Organ ahead of the annual Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government set for 17 August 2023.

Speaking at the opening of the SADC Organ Troika Summit in Luanda, President Geingob emphasised that “peace and security are key enablers for regional integration. Without peace there is no development, without development, there is no peace.”

“I am pleased with the progress we have made as a region in the past year in silencing the guns as part of our African Union Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want.”

The SADC Organ Troika is mandated to steer and provide the 16 Member States with direction regarding matters that threaten peace, security and stability in the region. It is coordinated at Summit level, consisting of three Heads of State, and reports to the SADC Summit Chairperson.

The SADC Organ Troika said the region remains largely stable and peaceful to steer ahead with its development agenda, despite security challenges remaining in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and northern Mozambique

Three Extra-Ordinary Summits of the SADC Organ Troika were held in the past year to address the remaining insecurities, resulting in key decisions and interventions.

President Geingob said that, while terrorism has been largely contained as the source of instability in northern Mozambique, the rebels in eastern DRC continue to kill and displace civilians while confronting the national defence forces, United Nations forces and others from neighbouring countries.

He said a Quadripartite Summit of SADC, the East African Community, the Economic Community of Central African States, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, under the auspices of the African Union was held on 27 June 2023 to discuss the situation in the DRC.

That meeting called for the withdrawal of the rebel forces, but also underscored the need to strengthen harmonisation and coordination of peace interventions within bilateral and multilateral arrangements in the eastern DRC.

SADC has decided to deploy a SADC Mission to the DRC (SAMIDRC), in addition to SADC forces already deployed in the country as part of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).

In addition to President Geingob, the other two Heads of State who are attended the meeting as members of the SADC Organ Troika were Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia who is the incoming chairperson for the next year.

The SADC Executive Secretary, Elias Magosi said the situation in northern Mozambique “has improved significantly” following the deployment of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) in July 2021. National and regional forces have cleared territories that had been occupied by terrorists while large numbers of people who had been displaced have returned home to rebuild.

“The region will continue to be present in the country to ensure that the gains made are sustained as well as support the government to assume an increasing role to take full ownership and management of the process beyond the mandate of SAMIM,” he said.

The Executive Secretary said preservation of peace and security was paramount for the development of the region.

“Once peace and security are lost, the price we pay to reclaim them is enormous, is painful and is often littered with landmines and curveballs that always test our resolve as a region to want to continue, so we must do our utmost to exploit the existing mechanisms and truly preserve peace in our region,”  Magosi said.

The SADC Organ Troika Summit received updates on the current situation in DRC and Mozambique from the leadership of the countries, and is due to present its report to the 43rd SADC Summit.

The SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government, meets on an annual basis to review progress made on its regional integration agenda and is responsible for the overall policy direction and control of functions of the regional community.

The Summit in Angola is running under the theme, Human and financial capital: The key drivers for sustainable industrialisation of the SADC Region”. sardc.net

Southern African News Features offers a reliable source of regional information and analysis on the Southern African Development Community, and is provided as a service to the SADC region. 

This article may be reproduced with credit to the author and publisher.

SANF is produced by the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC), which has monitored regional developments since 1985.      Email: sanf@sardc.net     

Website and Virtual Library for Southern Africa     www.sardc.net  Knowledge for Development