African Union (AU) Chairperson Paul Kagame has urged President Edgar Lungu to work with other leaders in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to ensure the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is credible to ensure stability.
Mr. Kagame who is also Rwandan President made the appeal when he held bilateral talks with President Lungu on the sidelines of the just-closed 38th SADC Summit in Windhoek, Namibia.
This is according to President Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda.
Mr. Chanda said during the 45-minute-long meeting centred on the need to enhance regional security, Mr. Kagame emphasized to President Lungu as incoming Chair of Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security that the primary responsibility of SADC is to oversee the stability of Congo.
He revealed that as Chair of the AU, President Kagame is worried that if there is no credible electoral process to lead to a credible outcome, there could be instability that can cause influx of refugees to DRC’s nine neighbouring countries.
Mr. Chanda stated that the two Presidents agreed that they would consult widely with other members within SADC and beyond on the matter.
He said President Kagame informed President Lungu that he was approached by the United Nations(UN) Secretary General, and other countries in the European Union(EU) and elsewhere to see how they can help the process in the DRC.
And Mr. Chanda said President Lungu also met Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi who informed him that there were negative forces, of religious in nature destabilizing the border areas of his country.
Mr. Chanda said the President of Mozambique has since informed all the countries involved like Tanzania and the DRC on the need to ensure the bad elements, whose origins are not well known, are dealt with as soon as possible because they are intoxicating young people with vile religious ideologies, and causing some security problems in the border areas.
He further said President Nyusi brought this to the attention of President Lungu because it is the responsibility of the chair of the organ to oversee regional security.
Mr.Chanda said the two heads of State also discussed bilateral issues to do with cooperation in the importation of energy and other issues between Zambia and Mozambique bordering on economic cooperation.
President Lungu also met Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the two leaders talked about the need for increased cooperation and entrenched values of democracy to ensure possible areas of conflict are minimized.
President Lungu has since left for Zambia and was seen off by Namibian Minister of Health Bernhard Haufiku, Zambia’s Home Affairs Minister, Stephen Kampyongo, Zambia’s High Commissioner to Namibia Stella Libongani and some senior officials from the Zambian High Commission in Namibia.
The theme of the summit which is being held at the Safari Conference Centre is “Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development.’’