Luanda – SADC Heads of State tackled regional security issues in their one-day summit meeting in Luanda.
Issues that were discussed were bringing about stability in Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar topped the agenda, they all agreed that despite some security challenges the region remains stable.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa talked about the progress in Lesotho in terms of constitutional and security sector reforms were reviewed, in his opening remarks he said, “We urge the government, opposition parties and people of the Kingdom to start the reform process in earnest…constitutional reforms remain a cornerstone towards political stability that will constitute the edifice of all other sectoral reforms including security.”
SADC’s attempt to bring stability in the mountain kingdom has been seen through the work of a SADC facilitator, deployment of the oversight committee, and the deployment of a SADC Preventive Mission.
The progress in terms of implementing the reforms from SADC Commission has been hampered because of opposition parties pushback in the changes.
Ramaphosa in the DRC, he said, “We note the progress made in the implementation of the December 2016 Political Agreement as demonstrated by the National Independent Electoral Commission publicising the electoral calendar, voter registration and the general preparations for the December elections.”
The elections in the DRC are scheduled for December 23, and it is expected that the UN, SADC and AU will send election observer missions.
SADC with still support the electoral process despite instability in certain regions.
SADC decided to appoint former Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba as the Special Envoy to the DRC ahead of the elections.
And on Madagascar, SADC expressed their deep concern for the situation in the country, where mass demonstrations against the government have taken place in recent days.
Ramaphosa said, “There is an urgent need for our organisation to make a timely intervention given the current situation,”
“We should not allow the country to slide back to political instability particularly now that it is preparing for elections.”
Madagascar’s President claimed the current unrest is intended to divide the country. Opposition claims the new electoral laws are designed to prevent former President Marc Ravalomanana from running for power.
Photo credit- iOL