LUANDA– Angolan President JoAPound o Lourenco believes that the steps taken by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Lesotho can contribute to political confidence and stability of the two countries.

He was speaking at the extraordinary summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Double Troika here Tuesday, convened to discuss the political situation in the two countries.

The Angolan leader said the steps taken by the DRC government of President Joseph Kabila to implement key aspects of forthcoming elections, including scheduling of the date for elections on Dec 23, this year, can contribute to the urgent easing of domestic tensions and strengthen mutual trust between the government, the opposition and civil society.

In view of this environment, he appealed to those involved in the process to show wisdom, patriotism and maximum restraint in these most critical moments, looking first at national interests.

President Lourenco said that the new climate in DRC would help tackle differences and ensure convergence that pave the way for peace, security, stability and national reconciliation.

However, he expressed concern about the situation in eastern DRC, where rebel groups, especially the Democratic Forces Alliance (ADF), continue to kill local citizens, including women and children, jeopardising the development of the country.

He said the support of the international community for the resolution of the conflict in the eastern DRC was crucial, always taking into account the positions taken by the SADC and the African Union.

As for the situation in Lesotho, President Lourenco said the SADC Double Troika welcomed the efforts made by the local active forces of the kingdom for the attainment of full political stability of that country.

Angola, he added, is part of the military contingent of the SADC tasked with ensuring the political-military stability of Lesotho, under the auspices of the United Nations and the African Union, on a peacekeeping mission.

The SADC summit is intended to seek ways to help the DRC and Lesotho overcome their political and social crises and consolidate the democratic processes in the southern Africa sub-region.

The Double Troika comprises the three members of the SADC Troika made up of the current SADC Chair (South Africa), Immediate Past chair (Tanzania) and incoming Chair (Zambia) as well as the current Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (Angola), incoming Chair (Zambia) and immediate past chair (Tanzania).