By BRIAN HATYOKA –
HOME Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has prayed for credible elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to assist end the humanitarian challenge where citizens are leaving that country to other countries, including Zambia.
Mr Kampyongo said the DRC had a humanitarian crisis and the problem would be addressed only if the county held credible elections.
The minister was speaking in an interview in Livingstone on the sidelines of the African Union (AU) Commission 5th High Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa under the theme ‘Assisting incoming African members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council in preparing to address peace and security issues on the continent’.
“We still have challenges in DRC and it is our hope that they will have credible elections to put to an end the humanitarian challenge where people are running away from that country to other countries, including Zambia,” Mr Kampyongo said.
He said Zambia hosted the AU’s 5th High Level Meeting on Peace and Security because the country was known to be an oasis of peace.
“As a country, we have continued to contribute in ensuring that Africa becomes a peaceful continent where security is guaranteed,” Mr Kampyongo said.
“We have been pushing for silencing of guns as well as fighting illicit financial transactions and selling of small arms.”
He said Zambia had extended the amnesty to people who had small arms to hand over their arms at a fee to ensure that usage of arms was curtailed.
All AU members especially those with conflicts should support the roadmap on silencing guns by 2020.
“As members of the Peace and Security Council of the AU, we want to participate in these activities. Zambia is also a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika on Peace and Security and that even puts us at a centre stage,” the minister said.
Earlier in his presentation during a panel discussion, African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) deputy head of mission Simon Mulongo said the situation in Somalia was comparably stable but increasingly volatile in view of attacks from Al-Shabaab and Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
Mr Mulongo said the region had seen loss of life and equipment; hence there was need for more support to AMISOM from governments.
He said AMISOM had done a lot to improve the situation in Somalia but there was need for Somali forces to also take responsibility of their own security.