WINDHOEK – Chairperson of SADC Council of Ministers and Namibia’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah is confident the elections in the DRC will be peaceful, free, fair and transparent.
DRC President Joseph Kabila, 47, who has been in power since 2001 announced in August that he will not stand for the elections scheduled for December 23.
The DRC, a member of the SADC region and previously known as Zaire, has never had a peaceful transition of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.
Nandi-Ndaitwah, who doubles up as the deputy prime minister, was briefing the diplomatic corps on various political developments on Friday.
But she voiced her concern over instability in Lesotho, where political infighting is threatening the country’s peace process.
“The situation in Lesotho remains a concern.
At the SADC Summit, heads of state and government urged the government of Lesotho to put in place a programme … for the implementation of priority activities on the Reform Roadmap and National Dialogue, keeping in mind that the SADC Preventive Mission in Lesotho (SAPMIL)’s mandate will come to an end on 20 November 2018,” she said.
She said Namibia’s efforts focus on consolidating democratic governance in the region, adding that the country sent a contingent of observers to join the SADC Election Observation Mission (SEOM) in Zimbabwe (July 2018) and Madagascar (November 2018) for the presidential and parliamentary elections in those countries.
Furthermore, Nandi-Ndaitwah told diplomats that at the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) held in July 2018 in Mauritania, Namibia signed the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.
She said in the spirit of facilitating the free movement of African people as per the AU Agenda 2063, Namibia took a principled decision to exempt Africans from visa requirements and to start the process as from July 10, 2018.
Also, she said an additional 31 African countries’ holders of diplomatic and official passports are exempted from visa requirements for a maximum period of 90 days.
“This is a step forward aimed at enhancing the free movement of African people and demonstrates the country’s commitment to the January 2018 Protocol of the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment,” she said.
Additionally, Nandi-Ndaitwah said to date the AU has various partnerships which Namibia values highly as they contribute to the realisation of the AU Agenda 2063.
For Namibia, she said, “Our desire is that these partnerships should continue to be aligned to the AU priorities and programmes.”
Commenting on Namibia’s position on the ongoing ACP-EU negotiations on the Post-2020 Cooperation arrangement, Nandi-Ndaitwah said as part of the global South, Namibia’s position is to maintain the ACP coalition post-2020, while understanding some specific issues on Africa such as peace and security.
2018-11-12 08:58:22 29 days ago