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KING CALLS FOR CALM IN REGION’S HOTSPOTS

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By Musa Ndlangamandla - THE SWAZI OBSERVER-09-Sep-2009

OUTGOING Chairman of the SADC Organ Troika on Defence, Politics and Security Cooperation His Majesty King Mswati III has called for calm among warring political structures in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

He said it was important for all the parties to place the best interests of the Basotho nation at heart and to seek for peaceful ways to deal with the political impasse in that country, through dialogue and negotiations.

Lesotho is currently trapped in political tensions following disagreements between the governing party and the opposition regarding positions and the political direction of the country. SADC recently appointed former President of Botswana Sir Ketumile Masire to work as mediator in the situation, but so far the situation has not normalised.

Summit

“The Organ Troika requests the summit to commend His Excellency President Ketumile Masire for a job well done in facilitating dialogue in lesotho. However, the situation in Lesotho is uncertain and a cause for concern as the stakeholders seem to be drifting further apart in spite of all the noble facilitation work that has been done by the eminent person. We have observed, among other things, that SADC should consider further re-inforcing the mediation process in terms of providing a strong support structure,” he said. His Majesty urged all parties concerned to continue to commit themselves to peaceful resolution of this political impasse by denouncing all forms of violence.

Regarding tensions in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, His Majesty noted that the humanitarian situation was still prevailing and that SADC must continue to provide assistance. “We encourage all involved and those helping with facilitation to continue engaging in peaceful dialogue until the DRC enjoys total and sustainable peace,” he said. Meanwhile, on developments in Zimbabwe, the King noted that the inclusive government has assured SADC of its commitment to work together for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe.

Challenges

“We are aware that there may be some challenges, but we are confident that the leadership of Zimbabwe will come up with lasting solutions to all outstanding issues in the agreement. SADC also recognises that the Economic Recovery Programme is well on its way and we would like to appeal to the summit to continue to support the people of Zimbabwe to see it through,” he said.

The King also urged SADC to continue with the noble call and campaign for the removal of all sanctions against Zimbabwe, whilst encouraging the leadership to work together to address all outstanding issues. His Majesty also touched on Madagascar saying it was most unfortunate that despite several efforts by SADC to foster a peaceful and negotiated settlement to the situation in that country, there still were challenges.

“While the solution might not be immediate, we are confident that as they continue working together they will eventually come up with tangible and practical resolutions that will see Madagascar return to constitutional normalcy,” he said. In another matter, the King said the Organ Troika is pleased to observe that as a result of the successful implementation of the decisions that were taken by summit. “Our organisation has been strengthened and is now ready more than ever before to fulfill its mandate and to effectively tackle any challenges facing our community for the benefit of all our peoples. We note with satisfaction that behind all the successes recorded by SADC is a dedicated staff. We, therefore, recommend that summit commend the Executive Secretary Dr Tomaz Salomao and his team for excellent performance,” he said.

The King added: “In the same vein, I wish the incoming Chairperson of the Organ Troika President Guebuza of the Republic of Mozambique all the success as we shall be working together in the organ.”


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