News / Africa

SADC Summit Ends With Call to End Regoinal Political Turmoil

Lameck Masina
A Southern African Development Community heads of state summit has ended in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, with a call for finding ways to end the volatile political situation facing people in the region and Africa as a whole.

In her remarks at the close of the two-day gathering, the new chairperson of the regional bloc, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, called for an immediate solution to political turmoil affecting the lives of people in a number of African countries.

She cited people living in Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe as examples.

However, President Banda said SADC heads of state are impressed with recent developments in Zimbabwe that promise a peaceful political environment there. “The summit has noted the progress made in Zimbabwe under a global political agreement signed in 2008, and commended the successful referendum on the new constitution in March 2013, as well as the conduct of harmonized elections of 31 July 2013," she said.

She urged Western countries to review their policies on Zimbabwe. “SADC calls upon the international community to review their position in sanctions following the progress being made in Zimbabwe. I believe totally that Zimbabweans deserve better and Zimbabweans have suffered enough," she said.

Banda said when a country is put on sanctions it is the people living in the villages under poor conditions who suffer most.

The SADC leaders also condemned acts of violence from the various warring sides in Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We remain concerned about the deteriorating security and humanitarian condition in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We reiterate our call for reengagement of our political stakeholders to find a lasting solution for peace, security and stability in the region. We also appeal to stakeholders to engaging all the negative forces so that a lasting solution in the great lakes region is formed," she said.

She said the SADC is pleased that peace is slowing showing signs of returning in Madagascar. “This is good news for SADC region. It vindicates that the long and painful efforts of SADC, through its mediator, former president of Mozambique Joachim Chissano are paying dividends," she said.

Some critics accuse the SADC heads of state of viewing these summits as merrymaking events.

Dumezweni Dlamini is the coordinator for the People’s Dialogue, a network of civil society organizations.

“Heads of state summits have been looked at as one of those Christmases for the heads of state where they say ‘let us come and dine and wine’ and not to attack each other. We have never heard any of these heads of state asking each other ‘why are you conducting yourself in this manner while as a region we uphold the principles of democracy," he said.

He said SADC leaders are failing to put the welfare of poor people at the center of their discussions.

“When you talk about the GDP per capita of these countries like where I come from in Swaziland, it says most of the people there are living above a dollar day. But what happens to those people, who are living far below? They are not considered when it comes to that equation. Which means that the GDP per capita in this region does not reflect what is on the ground," he said.

But Malawi's President Banda of Malawi said that, as new SADC chair, she will strive to take the issues of poor people to heart during her tenure.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Arkansas, North Carolina have approved similar laws that gay-marriage opponents say help maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Buddha
August 18, 2013 11:44 PM
Three things cannot be long hidden, the sun, moon and the truth.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More