Geingob urges SADC leaders to take decisive action to address insecurity in the region

Martin Endjala

President Hage Geingob in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation has urged SADC leaders to take decisive action in addressing issues of insecurity in the region, adding that it is incumbent upon them as leaders of SADC seized with the well-being and welfare of close to 400 million citizens, to reinvent new approaches to find solutions to old problems that have been troubling the region for so long.

“I stated on a previous occasion that without peace, development cannot take place and without development we cannot achieve shared prosperity for our citizens”, said the organ troika Chairperson.

The President made this remarks during the official opening ceremony of the SADC extra-ordinary organ troika summit held in Windhoek today.

According to Geingob, the time has come for the region to dare, to reinvent innovative strategies and pursue novel ways and means, to find lasting solutions to political and security challenges.

He further stressed the need to prepare and empower the people, for the journey to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, emphasizing the steps for revitalization and innovation in the political, economic, scientific and many other spheres in all the SADC countries.

He said that by doing so, the future of the region will be shaped as a cutting-edge region of peace, stability, development and progress, as per the goals of vision 2050 and the regional indicative strategic development plan 2020-2030.

“Therefore, we will become the makers and masters of our destiny in SADC. Additionally, this will help achieve the high goals of becoming a peaceful, inclusive, and middle to high income industrialized region where all citizens enjoy economic prosperity, justice and liberty,” Geingob said.

Geingob said that although he is mindful of the cultural, linguistic and geographic differences in the region, he urges SADC to continue holding hands as brothers and sisters of the region through deliberate and resolute strategies to about extraordinary renaissance in the Region.

Meanwhile, the chairperson also touched on reports of civil unrest and violent disturbances in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The then Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, deployed an Organ Troika fact-finding mission to the country on July 3-4, 2021.

Where follow-up engagements were conducted by his immediate predecessor, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, who amongst other initiatives, undertook a working visit to the Kingdom of Eswatini in November 2021.

Subsequently, in November 2022, Geingob paid a courtesy call on His Majesty King Mswati III after he assumed the chair of the Organ.

Geingob stated that the regional commitment has always been to address inter and intra-state conflicts by peaceful means. “In this spirit, these initiatives were aimed at obtaining a clearer understanding of the causes and impact of the civil unrest, and to consult key stakeholders on possible solutions to the prevailing challenges”, he said.

Regrettably, and whilst the region is focused on assisting sister country to find and implement peaceful solutions to these challenges, the chairperson noted with concern, that there have been on-going and sporadic acts of violence in the Kingdom of Eswatini that point to an escalation of tensions.

In which he received sad news that the people of Eswatini lost a prominent opposition political activist of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum, by the name of Thulani Rudolf Maseko, who was assassinated.

Gengob in his capacity as a chairperson of the Organ, issued a statement calling for a swift, transparent and comprehensive investigation so that the culprits can be brought to book.

He further reiterated that when diplomacy fails and people stop talking to each other, conflict begins. Therefore dialogue is important as it will give the peace process an opportunity to become successful.

Furthermore, share views and decisions on specific political and security issues in the SADC region will be taken. As the organ will receive and consider progress report on the SADC Mission in Mozambique and recommendations therefrom.

The Organ Troika Summit will also receive and consider reports on the political and security situations in the Kingdoms of Eswatini, Lesotho, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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