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President Geingob calls for global support to resolve conflict in DRC

President Geingob calls for global support to resolve conflict in DRC

Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob said that the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should be considered an international crisis, not merely an “African problem” as “ordinary, innocent people are suffering” while the conflict persists.

President Geingob made this statement during a meeting with Huang Xia, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) for the Great Lakes Region. At the meeting, President Geingob emphasized that the crisis in eastern DRC should be regarded as a significant international crisis, comparable to the conflict in Ukraine.

“We have equal situations in Africa, but nobody cares about it. We are being cajoled to support, to condemn Russia and so on. But we have got our own problems that nobody seems to pay attention to,” he said.

He emphasized that there appears to be an eagerness to assist with the conflict in Ukraine, while conflicts in Africa are not addressed with the same level of seriousness. While acknowledging the negative impact of all wars, he argued that the difference in treatment suggests that African lives are regarded as less sacred than European lives.

“When you see Africans suffering, you see it as it’s how it’s supposed to be. When others are suffering, the whole world is mobilised,” he remarked.

President Geingob explained that the member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have been attempting to resolve the conflict in the DRC. However, he said that at this stage, it is beyond their control as most countries lack the resources to address the problem. Consequently, Africa is appealing to external entities beyond the continent for assistance.

“If we are failing now, it is not that we are unwilling. We don’t have the means. Some don’t send the troops because they don’t have the means basically. It’s not easy,” he added.

President Geingob revealed that SADC countries have therefore decided that the crisis in eastern DRC requires international intervention. To achieve this, they have chosen to bring the matter to the attention of the African Union (AU) and subsequently to the UN. In this regard, he disclosed that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, is scheduled to visit the AU Headquarters and the UN to convey this message.

“We, Africans, are asking. It’s not the United Nations coming to interfere. It’s us saying now that we are having a problem beyond our control. Let’s join hands with the United Nations. That’s what the idea is,” the president said.

In response, the UN’s Special Envoy assured the president that he understands the frustrations of African countries regarding support for their own crises. He pledged his support and confirmed that he will convey this message to the UN Secretary General.

“I will continue my efforts to support and collaborate with your country, Namibia, with SADC and all the countries in the Great Lakes region to mobilise the support required to find a peaceful solution,” Xia assured.

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