President Cyril Ramaphosa says the recently concluded Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was successful and was able to give direction on what needs to happen in Lesotho ahead of the elections.
The President, as the outgoing chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Security and Defence, presented his report on the political and security challenges in the region. Ramaphosa also touched on the current situation in the Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique where insurgents are fighting SADC and government forces.
SADC leaders have reaffirmed their support for Mozambique in rooting out the insurgency in the northern parts of the neighbouring country. The SADC mission has also been extended.
President Ramaphosa, who was appointed by SADC to facilitate the peace process in Lesotho, is confident that the mountain kingdom is on the right path.
“ All that remains is either that the king must sign off on the bills and the Parliament must meet to sign off. This will be a real milestone in the life of Lesotho and characterised it as a rebirth of Lesotho and which SADC and South Africa have played an important role in bringing about peace and stability in Lesotho.”
Ramaphosa says the region is working hard to repel insurgents in the Cabo Delgado region in Mozambique. He says the SADC force has been able to push back the insurgents and people are now returning back to their homes.
“The pleasing thing was that the people who had fled the various areas in Cabo Delgado are now returning to their homes with increased confidence that SADC has been helping them to bring about peace.”
Ramaphosa says SADC has agreed to intervene in the current challenges facing the Eswatini Kingdom.
“SADC is now going to take this firmly in hand. Set up a fact-finding mission and send the panel of elders to go and find effective ways of dealing with the situation which could possibly end up being almost similar to what we have done in various other countries.”
President Ramaphosa says the summit has also agreed to launch a logistic centre that will monitor and evaluate emergency interventions in the region.
An anti-terrorism centre has also been set up in Tanzania to enhance peace and stability in the region.
SADC has also called for the deepening of regional cooperation among its member states to stave off economic shocks triggered by the global food crisis.
Leaders from the 16-nation trade bloc made the call at the community’s 42nd summit in the DRC:
Other issues discussed at the summit have been outlined in the document below: