Government has said that there is NO tension between ZAMBIA and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This follows international media reports that the DRC has approached ZIMBABWEAN President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, who is also SADC organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation Chairperson to mediate on the longstanding border dispute with ZAMBIA.
Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanj, however, said that the SADC Troika is earmarked to mediate over the verification of the MULILO border in Kaputa District in Northern Province between ZAMBIA and DRC.
Mr. Malanji told journalists in LUSAKA that the two countries have had talks with a view to finding a consensus on the disputed border.
Mr. Malanj said ZAMBIA and DRC have had long-standing cordial relations over the years.
Mr. Malanj further said ZAMBIA has been a host to many DRC refugees.
This week the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) approached Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa to mediate in its long-standing border dispute with Zambia in his capacity as Chairman of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
DRC and Zambia have had misunderstandings over one part of their common 1 600km border, the latest arising from the late 1980s attempt to demarcate the frontier with beacons.
There was a treaty which was signed in 1989 by the then Presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Mobutu Sese Seko where there were beacons put along the border.
Zimbabwe was mandated by SADC to ensure the maintenance of peace, security and rule of law within the region.
DRC special envoy Marie Nzeza on Monday met President Mnangagwa at State House to brief him on the situation.
Defense and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo, Commander Defence Forces Phillip Valerio Sibanda and other senior Government officials attended the meeting.
Addressing the media after the meeting, President Mnangagwa said both countries were seeking SADC’s intervention.
“A special envoy from my brother Tshisekedi of the DRC briefed me on the situation in DRC, in particular in relation to the current Covid-19 pandemic and how they are tackling it. There is also the security situation where DRC and Zambia want the organ on Defence and Politics to look at a small matter which is existing between the Republic of Zambia and DRC,” President Mnangagwa said