Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson and President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed satisfaction that peace and security are being consolidated in the region.
Ramaphosa said this, following the SADC Troika Heads of State and Government summit in Luanda, Angola on Tuesday.
The summit was aimed at assessing the political and security environment in the SADC region, particularly in countries like Lesotho, Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
“We had a very successful meeting. It was a summit aimed at looking at the security and democracy situation in the region, specifically focusing on countries that have been experiencing some challenges – Lesotho, DRC and Madagascar,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said that some notable progress had been noted in Lesotho since the last summit.
“In relation to Lesotho, the summit was able to consider the reports that have come through and also look at the progress that has been made since the last summit… There has been progress in the sense that the situation in Lesotho has stabilised. Lesotho is now working on reforms that were decided on by previous summits,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa himself was the SADC facilitator to Lesotho. He said that South Africa was going to give consideration to a request that the country continues to play the role of facilitator in the mountainous kingdom.
“They also considered whether I continue playing a role of facilitator. They felt that continuing is necessary as we move towards the finishing line… So we are going to give consideration and to find a high profile person in South Africa who will lead the charge to finality and who will be reporting to me as facilitator,” said Ramaphosa.
He also said that the summit noted the progress in the DRC in relation to the country’s preparation for elections.
“[DRC] President Kabila was here himself. They confirmed that they were moving in full speed to the election on the 23rd of December 2018…,” he said.
Ramaphosa said that the situation in Madagascar was also discussed.
“It was noted that we need to look very closely at what’s happening in Madagascar and to ask former president of Mozambique [Joaquim] Chisano to continue his role of getting the parties to work together and also to deal with the legislation that has been put on the table – the electoral law that they are dealing with, which seems to exclude certain individuals from participating in the voting,” he said.
Zimbabwe was also on the agenda.
Said Ramaphosa: “We also looked at the developments in Zimbabwe and welcomed the fact that Zimbabwe will be going to elections later this year – in July.”