African Leaders Convene in Namibia for Strategic Talks on Peace in Eastern DRC

On February 25, 2024, in Windhoek, Namibia, an important meeting took place on the sidelines of the funeral services for Namibian President Hage Geingob. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted discussions with President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, and President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi. This gathering marked a continuation of the dialogue initiated in Addis Ababa during the African Union Summit that recently concluded.

The focus of the meeting was the ongoing efforts to restore peace and security in the eastern regions of the DRC. The areas around Goma have been particularly affected, witnessing intense conflicts with the M23 rebels, who are reported to be receiving support from Rwanda. The leaders, representing nations that have contributed troops to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in the DRC (SAMIRDC), deliberated on strategies to address the challenges posed by the rebel group and ensure the stability of the region.

Accompanying President Tshisekedi were key members of his cabinet, including Jean Pierre Bemba, the Minister of Defense, and Christophe Lutundula, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The presence of these high-ranking officials underscored the significance of the talks and the commitment of the DRC to finding a lasting solution to the conflict.