The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation undertook an assessment mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 10th to 13th October 2016. The objective of the mission was to conduct an assessment of the political and security developments in the DRC aimed at assessing the on-going efforts related to peace and political stability of the DRC. H.E. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security cooperation mandated the Mission.
The assessment mission was led by Hon. Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO), who was accompanied by Hon. Georges Rebelo Chikoti, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola and Deputy Chairperson of the MCO, Hon. Patricio Jose, Deputy Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Mozambique representing the outgoing chairperson of the MCO. The Mission was supported by the SADC Secretariat led by H.E. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, Executive Secretary of SADC. The mission also included SADC Ambassadors accredited in the DRC.
The Mission consulted with various stakeholders, including SADC Ambassadors accredited to the DRC, H.E. Edem Kodjo, African Union Facilitator of the National Dialogue, Hon. Raymond Tshibanda, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of DRC, Mr. Corneille Nangaa, and Mr. Nobert Katintima, Chairperson and Deputy of the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) respectively, Senior Officials of the DRC Government, Representatives of Opposition Outside the Dialogue (Rassemblement), Representatives of Opposition in the Dialogue, political parties in the Presidential majority led by Hon. Aubin Minaku, civil society and religious groups.
Following consultations and exchange of views with the various stakeholders, the Organ Troika Ministerial Mission:
1. Noted the encouraging progress in the on-going AU-led National Dialogue and voters’ registration;
2. Commended all stakeholders participating in the National Dialogue and noted progress made so far. Further urged all stakeholders who are not part of the National Dialogue to join the process;
3. Encouraged all stakeholders to put the interest of the country and the people of the DRC first in the National Dialogue in order to ensure consensus on outstanding issues;
4. Strongly condemned the violence that took place on 19th to 20th September 2016, which resulted in the loss of lives of innocent civilians and police officers as well as destruction of property. Further called on all stakeholders to act responsibly and avoid any actions that would result in any acts of violence;
5. Strongly discouraged any attempts and threats that are aimed at undermining the process of Dialogue.
6. Urged all stakeholders to create a conducive environment for free, fair democratic, peaceful, transparent and credible elections in the interest of peace, national unity, stability and socio-economic development of the country and to uphold the principles; ideals and aspirations of the Congolese people as enshrined in the Constitution and in accordance with SADC and AU principles and guidelines governing democratic elections;
7. Urged all eligible Congolese voters to fully participate in the on-going voters registration process in order to exercise their democratic right as enshrined in the Constitution in the next elections;
8. Called upon all stakeholders in the DRC, the international community and the Support Group to continue supporting the Africa Union-led National Dialogue and the electoral process, with a view to ensure sustainable peace, security and stability in the DRC; and
9. Re-affirmed SADC’s support to the ongoing National Dialogue and pledged its full support to the final outcome.
Done in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
12th October 2016