Geingob decries inequality of approach to conflicts

Niël Terblanché

President Hage Geingob, who is also the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation has condemned the unequal approach to conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ukraine, by International peace keeping bodies and sympathizers.

Eastern DRC has been plagued by conflict involving at least 122 rebel groups, according to a recent count by the United Nations.

According to Geingob, people are dying while Africans are being cajoled to support and condemn Russia for invading Ukraine.

“We have our own problems that nobody seems to pay attention to, and DRC is one of them,” the President said.

He said that people have committed to providing troops while not having the means to do so.

“We must appeal to those who support other countries legally to solve problems to also attend to African problems. People are equally suffering here but nobody seems to care that they are suffering. There seems to be discrimination, some lives are more supreme than others, but life is life,” Geingob said.

The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is now an international crisis that needs assistance from the African Union (AU) and United Nations, Geingob said, during a courtesy visit by the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, Huang Xia.

“The SADC has decided that the war is not only a regional problem, it has now become an international crisis and must be elevated to the AU and UN level,” Geingob stated.

The President said the DRC conflict is long-term and needs UN recognition, noting that the conflict is beyond SADC capacity due to a lack of resources such as troops. He noted that many of the regional countries are faced with domestic problems and are unable to avail troops.

Xia, in response said that the UN supports the AU and sub-region organisations in their efforts to find African solutions to African problems and equally to strengthen the objective of the just-ended SADC extra-ordinary Organ Troika Summit and Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) and coordination between the AU and SADC in efforts to stabilise the security situation in eastern DRC.

“I will continue my effort to support and collaborate with Namibia, SADC and countries in the Great Lakes Region to mobilise the support required for peaceful solutions. A medium priority is to review and strengthen the UN presence in the Great Lakes Region,” he noted.

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