Opening Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the SADC Double Troika Summit, Luanda, Republic of Angola, 24 April 2018
Your Excellency João Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola; and the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation,
Your Majesty, King Mswati III of the Kingdom of eSwatini and Outgoing Chair of SADC,
Your Excellency, Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia and Incoming Chair of SADC,
Your Excellency, Edgar Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia and Incoming Chair of the Organ,
Honourable Augustine Mahiga Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, representing His Excellency John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania,
Honourable Ministers here present,
Your Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SADC Executive Secretary,
Senior Government Officials,
Members of Staff of the SADC Secretariat,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Members of the media,
Good morning to you all
I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and thanks to His Excellency, President João Lourenço, Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, the Government and people of the Republic of Angola for the warm welcome, hospitality and courtesies accorded to us since our arrival in Luanda. Angola has a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of our Region.
We meet here this morning on the occasion of the Extraordinary Session of SADC Double Troika essentially to review the political and security situation in the Region. We note with great satisfaction that our region, notwithstanding a few political and security challenges in a few sister countries, remains stable.
The political and security challenges in the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Madagascar correctly continue to occupy our attention. The timely convening of this Summit demonstrates our commitment to assisting these Member States in their search for a lasting political and security solution.
In the Kingdom of Lesotho, we have practically demonstrated our resolve in bringing about stability through the work of the SADC Facilitator, deployment of the Oversight Committee and the deployment a SADC Preventive Mission. While acknowledging some progress on the implementation of the SADC decisions and the submission of a Roadmap on Reforms, we nonetheless urge the Government, the opposition parties and the people of the Kingdom to start the reform process in earnest. In this regard, we advise the people of Lesotho to prioritise the constitutional reforms and complete this process in the shortest period of time. Constitutional reforms remain a cornerstone towards political stability that will constitute the edifice of all other sectoral reforms including security.
Having said that, let me commend the Preventive Mission and the Oversight Committee for the sterling work done thus far in their cooperation with the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Lesotho and all other stakeholders.
On the DRC, we note the progress made in the implementation of the December 2016 Political Agreement as demonstrated by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) publicising the Electoral Calendar, voter registration and the general preparations for the December 2018 elections. The people of the DRC deserve support in their quest to find a lasting solution to the challenges facing their country.
We also call upon all stakeholders in the DRC to work together as they prepare for these important elections. We equally express our concern about the continued security instability in some parts of the country. We wish to assure the Government and the people of the DRC of our continued support.
On Madagascar, there is certainly an urgent need for our organisation to make a timely intervention given the current unfolding situation. We should not allow the country to slide back to political instability, particularly now that it is preparing for elections. We call on all stakeholders in the country to exercise restraint and have the best interests of the country at heart.
Let me conclude by wishing those Member States that are going to hold elections this year success as they prepare for the elections.
I would like to thank you, President Lourenco for convening this important Summit and also wish the Summit productive deliberations. It is my pleasure therefore to open this Extraordinary Double Troika Summit.
I THANK YOU