The “special relations” between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Africa, including that between the two countries’ armed forces, have been cited as contributory factors to improving peoples’ lives in the central African country.
This emerged following a meeting between South African defence secretary Dr Sam Gulube and Lieutenant General Etumba Longila Didier, chief of the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC), in Pretoria.
“South Africa continues to build its relationship with countries sharing the same ideas of democracy, human well-being, reconstruction, development, peace and stability,” Gulube told SANDF Defence News.
The meeting focussed on efforts to bring about lasting peace and stability in the DRC with special attention given to ongoing instability in the eastern part of the DRC. This is where a South African military contingent is part of a UN peacekeeping mission headquartered in Goma.
The pair also discussed some lessons learnt as far as promoting social change and enhancing human well-being to improve the lives of people in the DRC.
The importance of the meeting in terms of continental peace and security was summed up by Gulube when he said South Africa and the DRC could not be “islands of prosperity in a sea of conflict and impoverishment”.
In turn Didier said South Africa was playing a crucial role in promoting peace in his country.
“The partnership between South Africa and the DRC, including the respective armed forces is contributing to stronger relations that can only be mutually beneficial to both countries,” he said.