PRETORIA– The Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, is to appoint an assistant facilitator for Lesotho and ensure peaceful elections in its member states in line with a decision taken at an extraordinary meeting of the SADC Double Trokia held in Luanda, Angola.
Regarding the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Extraordinary Summit endorsed the Roadmap for Reforms and National Dialogue and urged the Government of Lesotho to prioritise the Constitutional and Security Sector Reforms, which should be completed by May 2019. The Extraordinary Summit agreed that the facilitator, President Cyril Ramaphosa, will appoint a high profile personality to support him in his role as the facilitator, the Presidency said in a statement here Wednesday.
Furthermore, the Extraordinary Summit approved the extension of the mandate of the SADC Preventative Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SAPMIL) for a further period of six months, from May to November 2018.
President Ramaphosa returned from Luanda on Tuesday evening after attending the SADC Double Troika Extraordinary Summit. The Double Troika refers to the SADC Troika of South Africa (Chair of SADC), Namibia (Deputy Chair), Kingdom of Swaziland (Outgoing Chair), as well as Angola (Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics Defence and Security), Zambia (Incoming Chair of Organ) and Tanzania (Outgoing Chair of Organ).
Ramaphosa was accompanied to the Luanda meeting by International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Police Minister Bheki Cele and State Security Deputy Minister Ellen Molekane.
He expressed confidence that the steps being taken by SADC will result in the consolidation of democracy, peace and stability in the region, the statement said.
In addition, to the decisions taken on Lesotho, the meeting emphasized the need to kick-start preparations for elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Madagascar.
On the DRC, the Extraordinary Summit noted the progress made in the implementation of the December 2016 Political Agreement and in the Electoral Calendar for the elections, which are scheduled to take place on Dec 23, 2018. The Extraordinary Summit called on all stakeholders to remain committed to the implementation of the Electoral Calendar and ensure a conducive environment for the holding of peaceful and credible elections, said the Presidency.
Another key decision by SADC is the urgent deployment of the SADC Special Envoy, former President of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano to Madagascar. Chissano will head the team to facilitate a National Dialogue aimed at the de-escalation of the political tensions and reaching consensus on the electoral process in Madagascar.
Chissano will be assisted by the Chair of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics Defence and Security, Angolan External Relations Minister Manuel Domingos Augusto, and the SADC Secretariat.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK