MBABANE – The report on the SADC Troika fact-finding mission to Eswatini was not part of the issues endorsed or deliberated upon during the recently ended 41st Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and government.
At least this is according to a communiqué which was issued at the end of the summit yesterday. The summit was held in Malawi, where Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, was Chairperson of SADC, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was announced as the incoming chairperson SADC.
Instead, the summit received a report of the outgoing Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, and commended him for his outstanding leadership and continued efforts to address peace and security threats during the year, notwithstanding challenges posed by COVID-19. The summit received a progress report from the SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, on the implementation of SADC decisions in Lesotho, and commended the Kingdom of Lesotho for progress made in implementing SADC decisions and the ongoing reforms. “Summit also urged the Kingdom of Lesotho to expedite completion of the ongoing reforms, and to continue with peace, transitional justice and reconciliation process to engender national unity, and bring national healing and cohesion,” reads the communiqué in part. According to the communiqué, the summit recommended an extension of the mandate of the National Reform Authority for a period of six months, from October 30, 2021 to April 30, 2022.
It was further revealed that the summit received updates on the security situation in Cabo Delgado Province, in Northern part of the Republic of Mozambique, and commended SADC Member States for pledging personnel and providing financial support towards the deployment of SADC Standby Force to Mozambique. Meanwhile, it was also revealed that the summit endorsed an action plan for the implementation of security threats report, and urged member States to implement interventions contained in the plan. The report was however, presented at Troika level and was not readily available for public consumption.
Other resolutions from the summit:
Summit commended the United Republic of Tanzania for offering to host the Regional Counter Terrorism Centre, which will offer dedicated and strategic advisory services to the region on terrorism threats.
Summit approved the transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a SADC Parliament as a consultative and a deliberative body.
Summit expressed concern and objected to the unilateral decision taken by the African Union Commission to grant the State of Israel Observer Status to the African Union.
Summit approved the Protocol on Statistics and an Agreement Amending the SADC Protocol on Energy.
Summit noted that an Agreement Amending the SADC Protocol on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials; and an Agreement Regarding the Status of SADC Standby Force and its Components Deployed within the Region for Purposes of Training, Peace Support Operation, Exercises and Humanitarian Assistance were going to be signed by Member States who were ready to do so.
Summit reaffirmed SADC’s position that the creation of the SADC Central Bank and Monetary Union, as a long-term objective to be premised on fulfilling pre-conditions that include, the harmonisation of the fiscal and monetary policies of SADC countries, and greater convergence of banking systems. In this regard, the African Monetary Institute and the African Central Bank should, be long-term objectives.
Summit reiterated its call on the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe, and support Zimbabwe in the ongoing socio-economic strengthening efforts.
Summit expressed concern on the implications of the Post-Cotonou Agreement and the Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) in terms of potential risks to fragment ACP countries; weaken Regional Economic Communities, shift agenda setting powers from Member States to other Parties, and directed the SADC Secretariat to submit SADC’s preliminary concerns to the European Union Commission.
Summit approved the appointment of Mr Elias Mpedi Magosi as the new Executive Secretary of SADC.
29. Summit noted that the next Summit will take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August 2022.