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SADC Executive Secretary Meets UN Under-Secretary General to Enhance Peacekeeping Efforts in Eastern DRC

The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), His Excellency Mr. Elias M. Magosi, hosted a courtesy call from the United Nations Under-Secretary General for peace operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, on April 26th, 2024.

The meeting focused on reinforcing collaborative efforts to address the ongoing challenges in restoring peace, stability, and security in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

During the discussions, H.E. Lacroix reaffirmed the United Nations’ commitment to supporting peacekeeping endeavors in the region. The resurgence of armed groups, notably the M23, has inflicted considerable suffering on the population of eastern DRC, resulting in the displacement of over 3 million people, primarily women, girls, and children.

The SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC) was deployed on December 15th, 2023, to assist the government of the DRC in restoring peace and security. This deployment aligns with the principles of collective self-defense and collective action outlined in the SADC Mutual Defence Pact of 2003.

The Pact stipulates that any armed attack against a member state constitutes a threat to regional peace and security, warranting immediate collective action.

In tandem with SADC’s efforts, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2717 on December 19th, 2023, extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) until December 20th, 2024.

The resolution prioritizes the protection of civilians and underscores the importance of strengthening the state’s capabilities and authority, particularly the presence of state defense and security forces, to prevent security vacuums upon the mission’s withdrawal.

Recognizing the imperative of cooperation between SAMIDRC and MONUSCO, the SADC Executive Secretary emphasized the need for joint efforts in restoring peace and stability in eastern DRC.

Collaborative endeavors between regional and international actors are crucial in addressing the multifaceted challenges confronting the region and fostering sustainable peace and development for its inhabitants. 

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