In an Extraordinary Session of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), held in Luanda, Angola, leaders from multiple Southern African nations gathered to discuss their growing apprehension regarding the security situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The M23’s resurgence of attacks has been labeled as a “clear violation of the ceasefire.”
The summit, as conveyed by a statement from the Angolan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, underlined its deep concern over the deteriorating security and humanitarian conditions prevailing in the region. Additionally, the leaders expressed alarm over reports indicating that the M23 has renewed its attacks and extended its control over new areas.
With twelve SADC member countries in attendance, the summit featured the presence of presidents from Angola, the DRC, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The consensus reached during the summit reinforced the significance of SADC’s role in mobilizing resources to foster peace and security in the region. This includes reviving discussions aimed at establishing and operationalizing the SADC Peace Fund, with the involvement of International Cooperation Partners.
As per the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the escalation of violent conflicts since October 1 has raised apprehensions about a further deterioration in the humanitarian situation, with around 51,000 people compelled to flee their homes in the DRC.
In August, Angola assumed the rotating presidency of SADC for the 2023-2024 term, which underscores its commitment to addressing the region’s pressing challenges and fostering stability.