The government has responded to the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) issue, calling on the DRC government to comply with the agreement on implementation of the relevant council resolution to make sure that an election is held in that country.
Responding to questions in parliament last Friday, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said currently Namibia is monitoring the situation in the
DRC and they are constantly getting reports from the Namibian ambassador in that country, but as it stands the DRC issue is being handled by the African Union (AU).
“There is an agreement between the AU and United Nations (UN) on peace management on the continent – and since the issue is within the hands of the UN, and working with the AU, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) operates within those lines,” explained Nandi-Ndaitwah who also doubles as the deputy prime minister.
She added that Namibia being part of SADC doesn’t want instability in that country.
The DRC government under the leadership of President Joseph Kabila has repeatedly delayed elections with the Budget Minister Pierre Kangudia late last month saying he doubted whether the country could find the funds to hold a poll this year.
He said government coffers were empty and it would be “difficult to gather” the necessary $1.8bn, the equivalent of N$25 billion at yesterday’s exchange rate.
His claim has further dimmed hopes that a political deal could avert serious civil conflict in the DRC.
The DRC government also last year said it could not hold an election last December because of financial issues.
Kabila has been the DRC president since 2001 after his father, Laurent Kabila, was assassinated, but he should have stepped down at the end of his second term in December last year.
He is barred from seeking a third term, but has repeatedly pushed back elections, effectively extending his term in office.
Nandi-Ndaitwah also commented on Namibia’s stance on the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying it remains the same.
“I know this is not the first time to be asked this question and since this is the same question I will give it the same answer – yes we joined the ICC immediately after we got independence and that was necessary because we were entering into a situation we didn’t know, and also we knew that as we were just forming a government which had inherited undemocratic institutions it was necessary to have international instruments to back us up.”
“Our legal system was weak, our government institutions were weak and our legislative bodies were just being established, that’s why we needed international instruments to assist us,” she added.
But she said “as we stand now our institutions are strong and are able to help our cases”.
“Namibians, we must have confidence and trust in ourselves and Africans should develop an attitude of trusting their own institutions,” she said, adding that she always cites the example of the United States of America that is not a member of the ICC because they trust their own institutions. She said that is why the African Union decided that member states should withdraw from the ICC.
“Of course we can’t withdraw all at once because we entered individually and the rule governing the Rome Statute does not allow group withdrawal.”