The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has acknowledged the “effective withdrawal of Zambian soldiers” from its territory, precisely from the province of Tanganyika in the South of the country.
The said Zambian troops have been occupying the localities of Kalumbamba and Kibanga since March, 2020.
According to the DR Congo government spokesperson, Jolino Makelele, the withdrawal follows a mission commissioned by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which was petitioned by the Congolese authorities concerning the border dispute between Zambia and the DR Congo.
“The report of the SADC mission undertaken from July 22, to 29, 2020 resulted in the recognition by Zambia that the territories of Kalumbamba and Kibanga which it occupied belonged to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The withdrawal of Zambian troops from Congolese soil was agreed to begin from July 30 to August 4, 2020”, revealed Makelele during a press conference in Kinshasa.
A moratorium of two weeks had been given to the Zambian forces to totally withdraw from Congolese territory they occupied.
“Our competent services and all the responsible Congolese authorities have confirmed the effective withdrawal of Zambian troops”, Mr Makelele declared.
It should be noted that the Kinshasa authorities announced a few weeks ago that the SADC had recognized the sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of Congo over the disputed territories, leading the Congolese government to announce a diplomatic victory in the dispute.
However, the SADC says it is yet to arrive at a final conclusion of the matter. A detailed report by the experts deployed on mission to the zones under litigation was expected since July 23, 2020.
The report was expected to have been handed over to the Zimbabwean President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa who is in charge of the organ responsible for political affairs, defence and security of the Southern African Development Community. It is still being awaited.