Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a happy new year and to express my hope that 2019 will be another productive year for our region. In Namibia, I have declared 2019 as ‘The Year of Accountability’.
In my view, we could draw parallels between that declaration for Namibia and what we do in our respective countries, as many of us are facing elections. An election has taken place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the government was being accountable to the people of the DRC. In the same vein, I wish to take this opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation to our colleague, His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for having provided leadership over the Sadc Electoral Observation Mission to the DRC, in his capacity as the chair of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security.
We regret the suffered loss of life and convey our most sincere condolences to the bereaved families and the people of Tanzania and Malawi. Even one life that is lost, is one too many.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is at a crossroads. The announcement on 10 January 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) has raised hope, especially among the people of the DRC.
As in any election, it has also raised fears among some quarters of the Congolese people, fear that they might be left out; hence the challenge in the Constitutional Court of the DRC. Our task therefore is to assist our brothers and sisters in the DRC to manage and reconcile those fears and aspirations. All of us have been inundated with expressions of interest by other global players. The people of the DRC are waiting and the world is watching.
It is against this background that as chair of Sadc, I decided to call for the Sadc Double Troika Summit, initially to take place at Windhoek, but now taking place in Addis Ababa. I thank those who have responded positively.
I propose that as we deliberate on this important matter, we consider, among others that the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo count on all of us to assist in ensuring an atmosphere that will put an end to conflict and instability in the DRC, and place that sisterly country on the path of peace and sustainable development.
Therefore, their security and socio-economic aspirations should remain paramount. The fact that the DRC has held relatively peaceful elections is in itself a success and we therefore commend President Kabila for having kept his word and creating a conducive atmosphere for the holding of the elections in the DRC.
We thank our ministers and the Secretariat for having facilitated our work.
• Dr Hage Geingob is President of Namibia and current chairperson of Sadc. This is an edited version of the remarks he delivered yesterday at the Sadc Double Troika Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
New Era Reporter
2019-01-18 10:29:46 8 months ago