from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA – THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) has intervened in a border dispute between member countries Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia.
The row over the area in southwestern DRC and northeastern Zambia dates back to the colonial era when the two countries were partitioned between Belgium and Britain respectively in 1884.
A treaty signed by Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda and leader of the then-Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko in 1989 has proven ineffective.
SADC has intervened through its Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, chaired by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
He has dispatched a high-powered delegation to the troubled area for a fact-finding mission
Mnangagwa has also directed the SADC executive secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, to ensure credible mediation.
This paved way for the deployment of technical experts to conduct a mission in the disputed area.
Zimbabwean envoy, Ambassador Raphael Faranisi, leads the team that was dispatched on July 23.
It is expected to present its findings to Mnangagwa before the end of this week.
The Zimbabwean head of state is then scheduled to meet his counterparts from DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, and Edgar Lungu of Zambia.
The 16-member SADC is hailed as Africa’s most peaceful regional bloc.
South Africa is the chair of the African Union under a pledge to ‘silence the guns’ in the continent.
– CAJ News