As the Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila continues to snub efforts by the international community to bring peace and stability to the country, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will be meeting on 17-18 April in Luanda, Angola to discuss security in the region.
“SADC appears to be one of the few remaining organs that President Kabila and his government are willing to engage with, and this creates both an opportunity and a huge responsibility on the southern African leaders. SADC should not squander the opportunity to give new hope to the people of DRC, who are facing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis and gross human rights violations,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
“The SADC summit cannot afford to pull any punches or handle the DRC government with kid gloves. It must demonstrate the political will and commitment to address the dire human rights situation in the DRC up front, and call on the authorities to respect and protect the human rights of everyone as well as uphold the constitution including by supporting and protecting the civic and political space for a genuine exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly..”
President Kabila’s government last Friday boycotted and campaigned against the first-ever high-level international conference on the DRC which raised over $500 million USD for emergency humanitarian assistance to more than 13 million people suffering from armed conflicts, forced displacement, disease and hunger.