Call to support DRC electoral process

President Joseph Kabila gesturing at the end of a press conference in Kinshasa on December 21, 2016. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders have appealed to the international community to support the DR Congo hold peaceful and credible elections.

They made the appeal in a communique following the SADC extraordinary summit in Swaziland on Saturday.

DR Congo was expected to hold a General Election by the end of 2017 as stipulated in a power-sharing deal reached on the New Year's Eve.

However, the United Nations has criticised the lack of progress towards implementing the deal, which also called for the establishment of a transitional council.

The disarmament

The Swaziland summit also urged all parties in the DR Congo to embrace the disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation and reintegration and resettlement programme to urgently to address the needs of those in the refugee camps and the surrender of those still in combat.

DRC’s central region of Kasai has seen a spike in violence since September, leaving at least 400 dead in an uprising that erupted when government forces killed a tribal chief and militia leader Kamwina Nsapu.

Security situation

Nsapu was leading a rebellion against President Joseph Kabila.

The Swaziland summit also mandated the Facilitator and the Oversight Committee to closely monitor the political and security situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho during the election period.

Elections in the mountain kingdom are set for June 3, following a motion of no confidence on the prime minister.

Third time

The June 3 polls will be Lesotho's third time in five years.

SADC has 15 member states namely, Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

King Mswati III of Swaziland is currently the SADC chairperson.

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