SADC Heads of State meet to discuss DR Congo situation

Heads of State of the southern African countries are scheduled to gather in Congo-Brazzaville for a meeting to deliberate on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Leaders of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries will meet in Brazzaville for the joint summit on the situation in the DR Congo ahead of the country’s presidential election slated for December 30.

Among the Heads of State already in Brazzaville include Zambia’s Edgar Lungu, Namibia’s Hage Geingob, Angola’s Joao Lourenco and Botswana’s Mokgweetsi Masisi.

The DR Congo’s long-delayed elections have been a major cause of concern for SADC as well as continental body African Union and even the United Nations.

The vote was initially scheduled for November 2016, but the electoral body, CENI, said it was not able to conduct the poll due to logistical challenges.

Opposition leaders accused President Joseph Kabila of frustrating the elections as a means of clinging on to power, allegations he denied.

With regional and international pressure mounting on the DR Congo government, it earlier this year set a December 23 date for the poll. Barely two weeks before the vote, a fire incident destroyed a storage facility containing voting machines, and CENI once again postponed the election to December 30.

Should the elections now go on smoothly as planned, this will be the first time the DR Congo witnesses a peaceful transfer of power since its independence in 1960.