Joint Communiqué at the conclusion of the State Visit by His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 29 to 30 October 2013
1. At the invitation of His Excellency Mr Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, His Excellency Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid a State Visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 29 to 30 October 2013.
2. His Excellency President Zuma was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising eight Ministers and several senior officials from the Government of the Republic of South Africa.
3. On the occasion of this visit within the context of the strengthening of the bonds of friendship, fraternity and solidarity that unite both countries, the two Heads of State had tête-à-tête discussions during which they exchanged views on a wide range of issues of bilateral, regional and international interest.
4. On the bilateral front, the two Heads of State, after having reviewed issues of common interest, expressed their satisfaction with the excellent relations of cooperation that exist between the two countries and reaffirmed their resolve to further strengthen bilateral and strategic cooperation.
5. In this context, the Heads of State discussed the latest developments in the political and security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In this regard, His Excellency, President Zuma commended his counterpart from the Democratic Republic of Congo for, on the one hand, the successful organisation of the National Consultations and, on the other hand, the admirable conduct of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Armed Forces (FARDC) on the battlefield where they are pitted against the M23 negative forces supported by external forces.
6. In addition, both Heads of State commended the peacekeepers from the MONUSCO Intervention Brigade for their substantial support to the FARDC since their deployment to the North Kivu Province and urged them to fulfil their mission in accordance with the letter and spirit of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2098. They paid tribute to the Tanzanian peacekeeper killed during a MONUSCO operation aimed at providing protection to the civilian population.
7. With regard to the situation in the area of hostilities, the two Heads of State expressed their horror at the discovery by the FARDC of two communal graves in the locality of Kibumba containing human remains, including those of children, and requested the relevant authorities to investigate this and to prosecute the perpetrators of this heinous crime.
8. The two Heads of State exchanged views on progress in the Kampala talks between the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the M23, which have now lasted a total of eleven months. To this end, they urged the facilitation to do everything in its power to bring the parties to the talks to conclude an agreement in a short period of time.
9. Furthermore, both Heads of State launched a strong appeal to all armed groups active in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the M23, to lay down their weapons and join the process of pacification of that part of the country in order to allow the implementation, in an atmosphere of national cohesion, of the critical measures announced by President Joseph Kabila Kabange during his address of 23 October 2013 on the state of the nation following the National Consultations.
10. During his State Visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, President Jacob Zuma addressed the elected members of the two Houses of the Congolese Parliament. In his address, he expressed the wish to see the Democratic Republic of the Congo regain full and sustainable peace over the whole of its national territory. He reaffirmed the commitment of his country to continue to support the Government and the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to consolidate peace and stability.
11. A cooperation agreement in the field of electricity, namely the Grand Inga Treaty, was signed.
12. A Business Forum has, on the occasion of this visit, brought together members of the DRC Business Federation (FEC) and business leaders from the Republic of South Africa.
13. With reference to the situation in Madagascar, both Heads of State expressed appreciation for the good conduct of the presidential election which was held on the 25th October 2013 in this SADC Member State, as well as the political maturity of the Malagasy people, who went to the polls with order and discipline. At the same occasion, they called upon the candidates to this election to accept the verdict of the polls.
14. On the international front, the two Heads of State were pleased at the similarity of their views on major issues that are the subject of debates in various international meetings.
15. At the conclusion of the State Visit, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, expressed to his Congolese counterpart, His Excellency Joseph Kabila Kabange, to the people and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, his sincere appreciation and gratitude for the warm, friendly and fraternal welcome accorded to him and the delegation that has accompanied him.
Done in Kinshasa on the 30th October 2013
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