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DRC: Tshisekedi leads lobbying to win SADC post for his candidate

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Thursday, 10 June 2021 15:29

President Tshisekedi in Paris, 27 April 2021 © Sadak Souici/Le Pictorium/Max PPP

Despite abandoning his country's bid for a non-permanent member seat on the UN Security Council, President Félix Tshisekedi is stepping up his campaign for Faustin Luanga Mukela - DRC’s candidate for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) executive secretary post. Here's how.

As the board responsible for appointing the executive secretary prepares to meet on 10 June, Tshisekedi continues to press for Mukela’s leadership of the SADC.

According to our sources, Mukela, whose challenger is Botswana’s Elias Magosi, requested and received approval from President Tshisekedi for a delegation to be sent to the board’s five member countries (Angola, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania).

Access to heads of state and government

The delegation includes Mukela, Christophe Lutundula (foreign minister), Claude Ibalanky (who coordinates the national monitoring mechanism of the Addis Ababa Agreement) and a team of experts.

Led by Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge, the team left Kinshasa on the evening of 8 June.

Mukela was selected to vie for the post on 21 January, but since then, the Congolese president had not organised this kind of regional campaign to rally support for his candidate.

However, on 4 June, Tshisekedi appointed Mukela as ambassador-at-large in charge of monitoring international organisations. A source close to the president said the nomination was intended to make Mukela’s role official (which was not the case prior to the move), so as to facilitate access to SADC heads of state and government.

On the Botswana side, President Mokgweetsi Masisi is also spearheading the campaign for his candidate, Magosi, to take over at the SADC. During a visit to Kinshasa last March, Masisi tried to persuade Tshisekedi to withdraw the DRC candidate’s bid but he was unsuccessful.

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