Kabimba joins 10 Presidents at SA Summit

JUSTICE Minister Wynter Kabimba says yesterday’s joint summit of the Southern African Development Community and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region has ensured unanimity in tackling the DRC crisis.

Speaking shortly after the end of the one-day joint summit of Heads of State and Government, Mr Kabimba, who represented President Michael Sata at the event, said the decision to have a joint meeting of SADC and ICGLR was welcome as it would minimize on the polarization of decisions and possible contradictions.

Mr Kabimba said the meeting was very positive in analyzing the different factors that relate to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and that both SADC and the Great Lakes region admitted to the same methodology on addressing the issue.

“The fact that the M23 ought to sign a declaration of cessation, I think that condition given to them is very important,” Mr. Kabimba said. “And like President Yoweri Museveni has said, if we are going to discuss peace we must all agree on discussing peace, and if we are to go the war route then all of us must go the war route.”

Mr.Kabimba said because of the established unanimity, it was either the rebels agreed to peaceful means or be prepared to face both the SADC and ICGLR.

The summit noted among several other important issues that all the 11 issues under discussion in the Kampala Dialogue had been agreed upon and that the parties would sign an agreement on condition that the M23 makes a public declaration renouncing rebellion, after which the Government would make a public declaration of acceptance.

Five days after this is done, then a formal signing of the agreement would be done.

Heads of State and Government from Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya and DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, South Sudan attended the one-day summit.

Zambia was represented by Mr Kabimba and other senior government officials including Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Mr Muyeba Chikonde, Army Commander Lieutenant General Paul Mihova, Special envoy to the Great Lakes region Lieutenant General Solomon Mumbi, Defence Secretary Brigadier General Mazimba, Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa Mr Joe Kaunda and Assistant Director Africa/AU Mrs Isabelle Lemba, just to mention a few.

This is contained in a statement issued by Press Secretary at Zambia High Commission in South Africa Patson Chilemba.