By Phephile Motau
President of the Republic of Namibia and Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation Dr Hage Geingob has reaffirmed that he believes dialogue is important as it will allow the peace process to become successful.
He was speaking when he officially opened the extraordinary Organ Troika Summit on Tuesday. He said as part of the agenda, the summit would also receive and consider reports on the political and security situations in the Kingdoms of Eswatini, Lesotho, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Following reports of civil unrest and violent disturbances in the Kingdom of Eswatini, the then Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, deployed an Organ Troika fact-finding mission to the country on July 3-4, 2021,” Dr Geingob said.
He said follow-up engagements were conducted by his immediate predecessor, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, amongst other initiatives, undertook a working visit to the Kingdom of Eswatini in November 2021.
Geingob said Subsequently, in November 2022, he paid a courtesy call to His Majesty King Mswati III after he assumed the chair of the Organ.
“Our regional commitment has always been to address inter and intra-state conflicts by peaceful means. In this spirit, these initiatives were aimed at obtaining a clearer understanding of the causes and impact of the civil unrest, and to consult key stakeholders on possible solutions to the prevailing challenges,” he added.
Read More: What to expect from SADC Extraordinary Summit
Geingob said regrettably, and whilst the Region was focused on assisting Eswatini to find and implement peaceful solutions to these challenges, there have been ongoing and sporadic acts of violence that point to an escalation of the tensions.
“On that note, several days ago we received the sad news that the people of Eswatini lost a prominent opposition political activist of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum, by the name of Thulani Rudolf Maseko, who was assassinated. In my capacity as Chairperson of the Organ, I issued a statement calling for a swift, transparent and comprehensive investigation so that the culprits can be brought to book,” said President Geingob.
He said he had previously said that when diplomacy fails and people stop talking to each other, conflict begins, therefore dialogue was important as it would allow the peace process to become successful,” he said.