The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 2nd February, 2018 paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Joseph Kabila Kabange of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
H.E. Dr Tax commended the President for his commitment and leadership in addressing the political and security challenges in the DRC. She also thanked the President and the Government of DRC, and through the President, all stakeholders for the support accorded to the SADC delegation during her mission.
She also thanked the Government of the DRC for availing office space that will be used as the SADC Liaison office in Kinshasa. She underscored to the President, that she has over the years, through her engagements with DRC stakeholders, leant that effective support to the DRC requires one to understand the history of the DRC, and to undertake an in-depth analysis of both the political and security issues in the country.
On this note, Dr Tax assured the President of SADC's continued commitment to support the DRC, while also, underscoring that the Liaison Office that is set to be operational in March, 2018, will enhance SADC support, and facilitate timely understanding of progress and emerging issues of regional importance to the SADC region.
H.E. Dr Tax informed H.E. President Kabila that during her mission she met Government Entities and Officials, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), Episcopal Conference of the DRC (CENCO), and International Cooperating Partners. She commended the DRC and all stakeholders for the steady progress made in the implementation of the 31 December 2016 Political Agreement, and CENI for publishing and continued steps in rolling out the Electoral Calendar.
She specially noted the appointment of the Prime Minister, and of Chairperson on the Monitoring Committee of the Political Agreement, passing of the Electoral law, and on-going efforts to ensure availability of the needed resources and logistical requirements.
H.E. President Kabila Kabange welcomed the SADC Executive Secretary and recognized the important role of SADC to the DRC. The President also reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the electoral process, specifically ensuring that elections are held on 23rd December, 2018 as per the Electoral Calendar released by CENI. He said, “the electoral process is irreversible”.
The courtesy call came at the conclusion of the mission by the SADC Executive Secretary to the DRC during which H.E. Dr Tax held discussions with various stakeholders including, DRC Government officials, SADC Ambassadors accredited to the DRC, the Chairperson of the CENI and Team, the Episcopal Conference of the DRC (CENCO), the European Union Delegation to the DRC, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), and other stakeholders.