Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, who is the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation, was on Wednesday, 27 September, set to convene and chair a Virtual Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit (EO-OTS) in Lusaka, Zambia.
Zimbabwe’s disputed 23 August Harmonised Elections were on the Summit’s agenda, as well as the security situation in eastern DRC.
According to a press statement released by Zambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tanzanian President and Incoming Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Samia Suluhu Hassan, Namibian President and Outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Hage Gottfried Geingob, and the DRC President and Outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, were expected to attend the Summit. Read the statement in part:
"… the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) report on the harmonised elections in the Republic of Zimbabwe as well as other impending elections in the SADC region will also be discussed at the Summit.
The values and principles that underpin the promotion of democracy and good governance are also the foundation of Zambia’s foreign policy.
The Summit will be preceded by a Virtual Extraordinary Council of Ministers Meeting, which is scheduled to take place on 27th September, 2023."
Zambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the summit will discuss the security situation in eastern DRC, get updates on pledged critical capabilities for the SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC) and progress made towards deployment in the eastern DRC. It said:
"The deployment of a Brigade-size Force in support of the DRC for an initial period of 12 months, beginning on September 30, 2023, was approved at the Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit Plus SADC Troika and Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries (FIB TCCs) and the DRC on May 11, 2023, in Windhoek, Namibia."