President Edgar Lungu says the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is worrying and he will work with other regional leaders to find a lasting solution.
Speaking to journalists before departure for Angola where he has gone to attend the inauguration ceremony of João Lourenço today, President Lungu said he would use the opportunity to chat with his counterpart on how they can intervene in the DRC crisis.
“I think I did not mince words when I spoke to the American Secretary of State for African Affairs that this is a problem which is going to affect all of us in the region and one of the reasons why I am going to Angola is to talk to the President-elect to see how we can help because refugees from Congo are coming in Zambia, they are in Angola and they are in all the neighbouring countries and we thought that we could meet President Kabila in the UN precincts and talk to him about concerns but he came late after we all had left but I think it’s a problem, a real problem which we should address collectively. We don’t want to be seen to interfere in Congo affairs but we don’t want a situation where people are just displaced overnight and we are just watching. It is a challenge in the region, we are not interfering with Congo but we want to try and find a solution to retain peace, law and order and so on. That’s my immediate reaction. As SADC, we are very concerned,” said President Lungu.
“With the help of friends, we will be able to handle the situation. If a problem comes like that, it is no different from what is happening in western countries where you see hurricane Maria, hurricane Urma, hurricane whatever, when it happens, you move together, shoulder to shoulder, it is a human catastrophe, you will be able to move together, it affects all of us. So if there are issues of governance in Congo and people are displaced in that manner, all of us should work together in the region and beyond so that we have peace because it can happen to us tomorrow.”
Lourenço will be sworn in tomorrow, succeeding José Eduardo dos Santos who has been Angolan President for the past 38 years.