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Lufuma speaks peace ahead of DRC elections

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Lubumbashi, September 16, 2023, ZANIS—Minister of Defence, Ambrose Lufuma, has commended the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for its commitment towards ensuring smooth flow of goods, through the Kasumbalesa border.

And Zambia has wished DRC peace before, during and after the general elections scheduled for the end of this year.

Mr. Lufuma who co-chaired the just ended 12th Session of the DRC/Zambia Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) meeting on Defence and Security in the mineral-rich Lubumbashi town in Katanga province, said this in his opening remarks.

Mr. Lufuma told the delegates that the commitment shown by DRC towards ensuring smooth flow of merchandise, especially through the Kasumbalesa border, is highly commendable.

 Mr. Lufuma also cited some undertakings that need to be sustained or realised with the support of the defense and security apparatus.

He said that these include the landmark value chain electric car battery industry, the Kolwezi- Solwezi Road and the Lobito corridor railway infrastructure.

Mr. Lufuma however, said that notwithstanding these prospects, cross border crimes, including smuggling, illegal migration and other violations, as well as the threat of terrorism, remain a great concern to the Zambian government.

“These crimes have been compounded by the vastness of our common border, which has remained unmanned in some places,” said Mr. Lufuma.

He said that Zambia remains committed to the border re-affirmation exercise under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Speaking earlier, DRC/Zambia JPC meeting Chairperson, Peter Kazadi, who is DRC Minister of Home Affairs and Security, called for more collaboration between Zambia and his country.

Mr. Kazadi said the two countries must be meeting regularly in order to assess the level of execution of the commitments made in the past with regards to common interests.

Mr. Kazadi said his desire for the 12th Session of the DRC/Zambia JPC meeting, was to see the dynamic that have always characterised previous sessions to continue with regards to the implementation of the various resolutions.

“I therefore, remain convinced for my part that the high sense of responsibility which motivates our experts, is a major asset for a successful outcome with a view to promoting security and peace along our common border, in the best interests of both peoples,” said Mr. Kazadi.

And Katanga Governor, Jacques Kyabula-Katwe said he was happy with the interest and full participation of the delegates who took part in the high level meeting.

Mr. Kyabula-Katwe said he is happy with the commitment of the delegates who took an active part in the meetings saying this will enable the two states to resolve a number of issues that arise both along the common border and in the respective cities.

“I do not doubt for a moment your determination to give priority to cohesion and to the higher interests of our peoples, which I am sure count for great deal,” said Mr. Kyabula-Katwe.

He also called for improved fraternal relations, as desired by the two respective heads of states, Felix Tshisekedi and Hakainde Hichilema.

Meanwhile, Zambia has wished the DRC peace before, during and after the general elections.

Minister of Defence, Ambrose Lufuma said this in his closing remarks at the just ended 12th Session of the DRC/Zambia JPC meeting, in Lubumbashi.

The general elections in the DRC are expected to be held on December 20, 2023 according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Simultaneous elections will be held for the President, the 500 members of the National Assembly, the elected members of the 26 provincial assemblies, and, for the first time under the new constitution, members of around 300 commune (municipal) councils.

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