Lusaka, Zambia – President Hakainde Hichilema, Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation, is presiding over a critical Virtual Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit today, aiming to address pressing security concerns in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and discuss the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) report on Zimbabwe’s recent harmonised elections.
The extraordinary summit, slated for 27th September 2023, brings together key leaders including Her Excellency Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania and the incoming Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation; His Excellency Dr. Hage Gottfried Geingob, President of Namibia and the outgoing Chairperson of the same SADC Organ; and His Excellency Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The summit’s agenda prominently includes discussions on the security situation in eastern DRC, updates on pledged critical capabilities for the SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC), and the progress made towards deployment in the region. The revised indicative budget for the SAMIDRC is also a focal point, emphasizing Zambia’s commitment to support regional stability crucial for enhancing intra-regional trade and investment, essential for socio-economic growth.
The deployment of a Brigade-size Force in support of the DRC has been greenlit for an initial 12-month period, starting on September 30, 2023. This decision was sanctioned during the Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit Plus SADC Troika and Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries (FIB TCCs) and the DRC meeting on May 11, 2023, in Windhoek, Namibia.
In addition to DRC security matters, the summit will delve into the SEOM report on the recent harmonised elections in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the summit will address forthcoming elections within the SADC region, emphasizing the values and principles crucial for promoting democracy and good governance, which form the bedrock of Zambia’s foreign policy.
The summit will be preceded by a Virtual Extraordinary Council of Ministers Meeting, scheduled for 27th September, 2023, from 09:00 to 12:30 hours, setting the stage for critical discussions and decisions vital for regional peace and stability.