The Ministerial Committee of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation met yesterday in preparation for a meeting to be held with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to find lasting peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The virtual meeting was chaired by Botswana’s Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Dr Lebogang Kwape, who is the Sadc Troika Ministerial Committee chairperson, while Zimbabwe was represented by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo.

South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi and the DRC were represented in the meeting, with SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax also in attendance.

South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi have contributed troops to the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in the DRC.

At its 40th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government, the Member States reiterated their position as submitted to Guterres, emphasising that FIB should not be tampered with and expressed gratitude to troop contributing countries for the continued support to peace and security in the eastern DRC.

Dr Moyo said yesterday’s meeting was a follow up to the one held in August.

“You will recall that on the 8th of August, the ministerial committee held a consultative meeting with Secretary-General Guterres on the disposition of the FIB and today as a follow up to the decisions that were made at that consultative process, it was decided that the military, the defence sub-committee and the military staff at the UN headquarters were to meet and have consultative processes,” he said.

“So, the defence sub-committee made recommendations to the committee of senior officials and today as the ministers of the Troika and also accompanied by the troop contributing countries plus the DRC and of course supported by the Executive Secretary met and discussed the issues and interrogated what had been recommended by the defence sub-committee and we made resolutions which are in preparation for a conclusive meeting between SADC and the UN secretary-general on a date to be advised.”