The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, on 21 August 2020 extended gratitude the United Nations (UN), and called upon the UN to continue supporting SADC’s regional drive to among others sustain global peace and security. H.E. Dr. Tax made the call during a virtual meeting with Her Excellency Bintou Keita, Assistant Secretary General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations responsible for Africa, where the two discussed security developments in the SADC region, including violent attacks and terrorism.
During the meeting, H.E. Dr. Tax reiterated the position of the 40th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government on the reconfiguration of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as submitted to the UN Secretary General, which, among others, emphasizes that the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) should not be tampered with.
On terrorism, H.E. Dr. Tax indicated that the region is seized with the situation, and called for concerted efforts by all regional and international partners. She emphasized the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach towards addressing violent attacks and terrorism and related manifestations such as violent extremism and radicalization before it escalates and spreads across the region and beyond.
The SADC Executive Secretary also seized the opportunity to urge the UN to support SADC’s regional appeal for lifting of sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe and highlighted that lifting of the sanctions will go a long way in helping Zimbabwe to focus on her developmental agenda and alleviating the current socio-economic challenges that the country faces.
On her part, H.E. Bintou Keita commended SADC for remaining committed to peace and security in the region, as emphasized in the Communique of the 40th SADC Summit held on 17th August 2020. H.E. Keita also commended SADC for adopting the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and the SADC Vision 2050 which recognize peace and security as a foundation for socio-economic development in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063.
H.E. Keita acknowledged the sacrifices of the peacekeepers from Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) under the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) through the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), and SADC’s efforts towards lasting peace in the eastern part of the DRC. She further expressed UN’s commitment to continue supporting and working with SADC including in areas of peace and security, human rights, and in combating terrorism and violent attacks.
The virtual meeting offered an opportunity to emphasize the need for a robust and pragmatic partnership. The two Organizations signed a framework agreement in April 2010, with a focus on conflict prevention, management, resolution and mediation, towards the promotion of peace and security in southern Africa.
The SADC Executive Secretary was accompanied by Mr. Jorge Cardoso, Director of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Affairs, Commander Fillipus Nghilondwa, Lt. Col. Paul Msailu, and other officers. From the UN, H.E. Keita was accompanied by Michael Kingsley-Nyinah, Director for Central and Southern Africa Division (CSAD) and experts from the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA/DPO); the Liaison Office, Gaborone; Office of Military Affairs (OMA) and Public Information.