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SADC pledge support to DR Congo in preparations for 2018 polls

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) meeting in Tanzania on Friday agreed to support the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) in preparations for the 2018 general elections.

Augustine Mahiga, the east African nation’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, said SADC will give full support to the vast central African country as it prepared to conduct general elections next year,

Briefing journalists at the end of a one-day meeting of SADC Inter-State Politics and Diplomacy Committee in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, Mahiga said the southern African regional body also appealed to the international community to support DR Congo towards preparations of the polls.

"SADC has pleaded to heads of state and government as well as international bodies to assist DR Congo financially because the country is currently facing political instability," said Mahiga.

He said DR Congo which was currently under an interim government under President Joseph Kabila faced a number of challenges including lack of finance ahead of its elections.

Mahiga said the meeting agreed to send the message to international bodies to help the country in its pre-elections preparations, including registration and updating the voter’s registration book.

He said DR Congo Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Raymond Tshibanda, presented a report to the meeting on the political situation in the country.

The Congolese minister briefed the meeting on political challenges following the death of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, said Mahiga.

Mahiga said the meeting also discussed political instability in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Mahiga said the meeting reviewed and agreed to give membership to the Comoros that became the 16th member of the SADC while giving recommendations to Burundi after it failed to reach some qualifications to be granted membership.



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