DRC conflict an international crisis: Geingob

President Hage Geingob has said the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is now an international crisis that needs global assistance from the African Union (AU) and United Nations.

Geingob, who is also the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, said this during a courtesy visit by the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, Huang Xia, here on Wednesday.

“SADC has decided that the war is not only a SADC problem, it has now become an international crisis and must be elevated to the AU and UN level… People are dying… and we are being cajoled to support and condemn Russia and so on, but we have our own problems that nobody seems to pay attention to, and DRC is one of them,” the president said.

Eastern DRC has been plagued by conflict involving at least 122 rebel groups, according to a recent count by the United Nations.

Geingob said the DRC conflict is long term and needs UN recognition, noting that the conflict is beyond SADC capacity due to lack of resources such as troops. He noted that many of the regional countries are faced with domestic problems and are unable to avail troops.

“As Africans we are united politically to provide. People have committed to provide troops, but we don’t have the means… Therefore we must appeal to those who support other countries legally to solve problems to also attend to African problems. People are equally suffering here but nobody seems to care that they are suffering. There seems to be a discrimination, some lives are more supreme than others, but life is life,” said Geingob.

Xia said the UN supports the AU and sub-region organisations in their efforts to find African solutions to African problems and equally to strengthen the objective of the just-ended SADC extra-ordinary Organ Troika Summit and Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) and coordination between the AU and SADC in efforts to stabilise the security situation in eastern DRC.

“I will continue my effort to support and collaborate with Namibia, SADC and countries in the Great Lakes Region to mobilise the support required for peaceful solutions. A medium priority is to review and strengthen the UN presence in the Great Lakes Region,” he noted.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency