DR Congo has approached Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa to mediate in its long-standing border dispute with Zambia, government-controlled media reported Tuesday.
DR Congo special envoy, Marie Nzeza, on Monday met Mnangagwa at State House to brief him on the situation. Mnangagwa is the current chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
DR Congo and Zambia have had misunderstandings over a part of their common 1,600km border, the latest arising from a late 1980s attempt to demarcate the frontier with beacons.
Mnangagwa said after the meeting that both countries were seeking SADC’s intervention on the matter. “A special envoy from my brother Tshisekedi of the DR Congo briefed me on the situation in DR Congo, in particular in relation to the current #COVID-19 pandemic and how they are tackling it.
“There is also the security situation where DR Congo and Zambia want the Organ on Defence and Politics to look at a small matter which is existing between the Republic of Zambia and DR Congo,” he said.
Nzeza, who is also the DR Congo Foreign Affairs Minister, refused to shed more light into the issue saying that she was not at liberty to share what had been discussed in her meeting with Mnangagwa, according to the Herald newspaper.
It is not the first time that SADC has been approached to discuss border disputes between two member states. In the 1990s, the regional bloc intervened in the dispute between Botswana and Namibia over ownership of an island on the Chobe River, which forms part of their border.
The matter was subsequently referred to the International Court of Justice, with the World Court ruling in 1999 that the island belonged to Botswana.