The Joint International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR)-Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chiefs of Defence Forces (CDFs) Meeting was held in Luanda, Angola on 8 June 2017. The meeting was convened following a previous one held in October 2014. The purpose of the Joint meeting was to discuss the security situation in the DRC, in line with decisions raiterated by the SADC Summit, including by the extraordinary Summit held in Lozitha, Swaziland on 17 March 2016, to address the security situation in the DRC and recommend measures towards enhancing the peace and stability of the DRC. In their deliberations, the CDFs from, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe or their representatives considered the following: progress related to the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region signed in Addis Ababa on 28 February 2013 by 11 Member States, to which both the ICGLR and SADC are Guarantors, alongside the the UN and the African Union (AU); the need for prioritization of the Disarmament, Demobilization, Resettlement, Reintegration, and/or Repatriation (DDRRR) for former Combatants in DRC by the Government of the DRC and the International Community; the renewal of the implementation of the Nairobi Declarations concerning the ex-M23; and recommendations on addressing insecurity in the DRC.
The Joint ICGLR-SADC Defence Chiefs meeting was co-Chaired by General Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda, the Chairperson of the ICGLR Chiefs of Defence Forces and Chief of Defence Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces and by General Venance Salvatory Mabeyo Chairperson of the SADC Defence Sub-Committee (DSC) and Chief of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces. In considering the items on its Agenda, the Joint Meeting, among others, appreciated the efforts by the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC), supported by the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and its Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), in neutralizing negative forces in the DRC, including the M23, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and others, both local and foreign origin. To that end, the imperative for eliminating the ADF was underscored. The meeting also noted matters and challenges concerning the FIB and decided to engage the UN as a bloc in July 2017, to address those matters and challenges. The ICGLR – SADC Defence Chiefs also noted the situation of persistent insecurity in the DRC and decided to deploy, in June 2017, a joint mission, comprising the DRC, FIB Troop Contributing Countries the SADC Organ and ICGLR Troikas, to determine the type of support still required by the DRC Government.
Photo 1 Seating from L-R: Mr. Jorge Cardoso – Representative of the SADC Executive Secretary and Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs; General Venance Salvatory Mabeyo - Chairperson of the SADC Defence Sub-Committee (DSC) and Chief of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces, General Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda - the Chairperson of the ICGLR Chiefs of Defence Forces and Chief of Defence Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces and Ambassador Vicente Muanda – Deputy Executive Secretary of ICGLR