President Ramaphosa in Luanda for SADC Double Troika

President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in Luanda, Angola, where he is attending the Extraordinary Summit of the SADC Double Troika, the Presidency said on Tuesday.

The summit, which is scheduled for Tuesday, is expected to consider the political and security environment of the SADC region.

It will pay specific attention to the implementation of SADC decisions relating to the Kingdom of Lesotho and the preparations for elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is due to go to the polls in December.

The West African country has not managed to organise the elections, scheduled since the end of 2016, following technical and financial problems.

The political majority of the opposition accuses President Joseph Kabila of blocking the electoral process in the country. SADC is pushing for successful elections in the DRC, as they are crucial to peace and stability and development in the wider Great Lakes region of Central Africa.

The summit will also review the prevailing political and security developments in Madagascar. Two people were reportedly killed and others wounded in fresh clashes led by opposition activists on the Indian Ocean island.

The demonstrators were protesting against new electoral laws that the opposition claim could bar some candidates from standing in the upcoming presidential elections.

This is the fifth cyclical political crisis in Madagascar since its independence in 1960 after that of 1972, 1991, 2002, and 2009.

The SADC Double Troika comprises South Africa (Chair of SADC), Namibia (Deputy Chair), Swaziland (Outgoing Chair), Angola (Organ Chair), Zambia (Incoming Chair of Organ) and Tanzania (Outgoing Chair of Organ).

The Extraordinary Summit was preceded by the Double Troika Ministerial Meeting, which took place on Monday. International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu led the South African delegation, joined by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Police Minister Bheki Cele and State Security Deputy Minister Ellen Molekane.

The SADC Summit is responsible for the overall policy direction and control of functions of the community, ultimately making it the policy-making institution of SADC.

It is made up of all SADC Heads of States or Government and is managed on a Troika system that comprises the current SADC Summit Chairperson, the incoming Chairperson � who is the Deputy Chairperson at the time - and the immediate previous Chairperson.

According to SADC, the Troika system vests authority in this group to take quick decisions on behalf of SADC that are ordinarily taken at policy meetings scheduled at regular intervals, as well as providing policy direction to SADC Institutions in between regular SADC Summits.

The Troika system operates at the level of the Summit and the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, and the application of two Troikas is referred to as the Double Troika.

SADC is an organisation of 16 member states whose mission is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient, productive systems, deeper cooperation and integration, good governance and durable peace and security so that the region emerges as a competitive and effective player in international relations and the world economy.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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