| August 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE, Aug 19 — Botswana has been elected deputy chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), putting the country in a strong position to take over leadership of the regional group next year.

It will deputize Zimbabwe, which was elected chairman of the group’s rotating presidency at the 34th SADC summit of Heads of State and Government here on Sunday. At the summit, which ended Monday, South African President Jacob Zuma was elected to chair the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security
Co-operation, taking over from outgoing Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

Zuma will have as his deputu Swaziland Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. Among Zuma’s immediate tasks will be seeing through the successful implementation of peace deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar and Lesotho.

There is simmering tension in the three countries, the most troubling being the DRC where there are several rebel groups fighting the government.

However, SADC leaders, in a final summit communique, said the security situation in the region had generally improved, and was now less worrisome. “On the DRC, the summit endorsed the decision by the last Joint SADC-ICGLR Ministerial Meeting that the voluntary surrender and disarmament by FDLR (rebel group) shall be done within a six-month time frame,” the leaders said in the communique.

“The Summit re-affirmed its commitment to support Madagascar in the context of dialogue, national reconciliation and national building processes. On the Kingdom of Lesotho, the summit encouraged the coalition leaders to continue to provide leadership in its effort to find a lasting political solution to the current impasse, and underscored the SADC’s commitment to support the leaders of the coalition government.”

The summit here ran under the theme: “SADC Strategy for Economic Transformation, Leveraging the Region’s Diverse Resources for Sustainable Economic and Social Development through Beneficiation and Value Addition.” It was attended by 13 leaders from the 15 member States, including President Ian Khama of Botswana, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania.


Category: General

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