SADC welcomes new member Comoros, puts Burundi on hold
Comoros, led by President Azali Assoumani, enters the SADC as its 16th member in total. An application from Burundi remains under consideration because the country does not fully meet SADC criteria, but will be revisited.
South African President Jacob Zuma stepped into the rotating role of chairman, following the service of King Mswati III of Swaziland. Among other summit outcomes, Zuma noted that Lesotho has until November, to “submit a clear time-bound roadmap on the implementation of all SADC decisions” with regard to reforms.
“On the DRC, the Summit noted that it might not be possible to hold elections in December 2017,” Zuma said.
“Accordingly, Summit has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission of the DRC to publicise the revised electoral calendar. The Summit has also approved the appointment of a SADC Special Envoy to the DRC in the level of a Former Head of State.”
Zuma said negotiations for that appointment are nearing completion, but the envoy has not yet been named.
The summit noted the service of outgoing President Ian Khama of Botswana, as this is his last summit before his nation enters a leadership transition period ahead of the 2019 elections. It also honored President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola, the 74-year-old leader who now leaves office after 38 years as president. Angolans will go to the polls on Wednesday.
A number of heads of state including Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane, Namibian President Hage Geingob, Zambian President Edgar Lungu, and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe were in attendance.