SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax has congratulated His Excellency Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and his Government for resoundingly defeating the M23 rebel group in Eastern DRC and thereby restoring peace and political stability in that part of the country.
Speaking during a courtesy call on President Kabila by Dr. Tax on 27th February 2014 in the margins of the COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit in Kinshasa, Dr. Tax also commended President Kabila for assuming the Chairmanship of COMESA and for the successful hosting of the COMESA Summit.
President Kabila Kabange and Dr. Tax reiterated the importance of peace, security and political stability in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the region as a whole; and that regional integration and economic development are essential to sustained peace and political stability. In this regard they underscored the need to expedite the implementation of the SADC Plan of Action on the Support to the DRC and operationalisation of the SADC Coordination Office in the DRC.
They emphasised that "The implementation of SADC Action Plan remains critical until such time that the security situation in the eastern part of DRC, and as such in DRC and the region is completely stable; and that the operationalisation of the SADC Liaison Office will facilitate efficient coordination of the Action Plan and other related activities".
They further reiterated the importance of targeted economic programmes as a precursor for sustained political gains and enhanced peace and security in the DRC and the SADC region. In view of this they pointed out that "It is imperative for the implementation of the SADC Action Plan on the Support to the DRC to contextualise developments that have taken place in the DRC and the immediate economic developmental needs.
In addition, they emphasised the importance of fast-tracking the implementation of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite arrangement, which encompasses Market Integration, Infrastructure Development, and Industrial Development.
ISSUED BY THE SADC SECRETARIAT
28TH FEBRUARY 2014