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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Dar SADC talks to discuss DRC standby force bill

10th January 2013
President Jakaya Kikwete

President Jakaya Kikwete will lead peace talks for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in Dar es Salaam today, a State House statement issued on Tuesday said.

Kikwete is the current chairman of the SADC Troika on Peace, Defence and Security.
A statement issued by the State House on Tuesday said the talks will discuss the progress in the political situation in Madagascar and the security situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The statement said the talks will be attended by Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, South African President Jacob Zuma and Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, who are members of the SADC Troika.
The talks have been preceded by a ministerial meeting which started yesterday in Dar es Salaam.
The talks could be a follow-up to the recent extraordinary summit of the SADC, which deliberated on the political crisis in Madagascar and the security situation in the eastern DRC.
The earlier meetings last month considered the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), receiving a report by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the current chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, on the evolving situation in the eastern part of that country.
The leaders urged all SADC member states to contribute towards the SADC Standby Force under the auspices of the Neutral International Force (NIF), and commended South Africa  and Tanzania for pledging logistical support for the standby force.
The meetings also received a mediator's report on Madagascar, and emphasized the need for full implementation of the roadmap for the country. A report on the facilitation process in Zimbabwe was also received.
The issue of sending a military force to the DRC will dominate the agenda of the meeting in Dar es Salaam, which will include representatives from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, according to a source in South Africa's international relations department. 
The Democratic Republic of Congo was rocked in recent months by a rebel insurgency that seized the strategically vital eastern city of Goma, raising fears among southern African capitals of a broader regional conflict.
The M23 rebels have since pulled out of Goma, sparking a flurry of diplomatic efforts to prevent the crisis from flaring up again.
Negotiations between the warring parties have already begun in Uganda.
It was not clear if representatives of the Congolese government, which is a member of the SADC, or rebel forces in the east of the country, will attend the Dar es Salaam talks.


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