Albertina Nakale WINDHOEK - Cabinet says Namibia remains seized with the political and security situation in the region, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kingdom of Lesotho and Republic of Madagascar. The regional security situation continues to deteriorate in these countries, with negative impact on civilians. The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office has documented an increased number of violations: 2,858 from January to May this year, as compared to 2,332 during the same period in 2017 – and the real scale of violations is certainly even greater. The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) Islamist rebel group continues to wreak havoc in North Kivu. Between May 24 and 26, the ADF reportedly killed 11 civilians in the localities of Mbau-Kamango and Eringeti. In clashes with the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) that followed, five soldiers and 14 rebels were killed. In Ituri, particularly in the Djugu area, more than 260 people have died and more than 200,000 have fled their homes since December 2017 amid conflict between the Hema and Lendu ethnic groups. Between 1 January and June 4, nearly 84,000 Congolese fled to Uganda, though the flow of refugees has slowed considerably since April. The Minister of Information and Communication Technology Stanley Simataa said Cabinet approved that Namibia continue urging all political stakeholders in the DRC to remain committed to ensuring a conducive environment for the holding of peaceful and credible elections on December 23, and also urge them to remain committed to the implementation of the December 31, 2016 Political Agreement. Equally, Simataa announced that Cabinet approved that as per standard practice in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Namibia forms part of the SADC Electoral Observer Missions to the SADC countries that are holding elections. These countries include Zimbabwe, eSwatini, Madagascar and the DRC. Zimbabwe held its general elections on Monday to elect the president and members of both houses of parliament, where election unrest turned deadly as army opened fire on protesters. Three people have been killed in Harare as soldiers and police fought running battles with hundreds of protesters, firing live ammunition, teargas and water cannon amid rising tension following Zimbabwe’s presidential election. The army was deployed in the capital on Wednesday after police proved unable to quell demonstrators who claim Monday’s historic election is being rigged. On the eve of Zimbabwe’s election, July 29, former President Robert Mugabe gave a surprise press conference during which he stated he would not vote for Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF, the party he founded and controlled for decades. Instead, he expressed the wish to vote for his long-time rival party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Nelson Chamisa. On August 1, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) released preliminary results indicating the ruling party Zanu-PF has won the majority of seats in parliament Simataa said Cabinet approved that Namibia continue supporting SADC efforts that are aimed at establishing the mechanisms to celebrate March 23, as the Southern African Liberation Day. He also announced that Cabinet approved that Namibia support the establishment of the Peace Fund, with the view to bring to an end the situation that member states are called upon to contribute to peace efforts and missions in the region, noting that in most cases these contributions are unplanned and unbudgeted for. He noted Cabinet also directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration to provide comments to the Draft Common Regional Asylum and Refugee Management Policy Framework, and to further follow-up on the progress regarding the ratification of the Protocol on the Facilitation of the Movement of Persons in the SADC Region. Equally, he said Cabinet wants Namibia to continue with the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and urge other countries to do the same. Moreover, Simataa revealed Cabinet took note of the key outcomes from the Sixth Assembly of Global Environment Facility (GEF), and Namibia’s indicative country allocation for the GEF-7 period (2018-2022) of US$13.88 million (N$186.5 million). These allocations include climate change mitigation — US$1 million (N$13.44 million), biodiversity management — US$6.25 million (N$84 million) and combating land degradation — US$6.62 million (N$88.9 million).
New Era Reporter
2018-08-03 09:02:54 3 months ago