PRETORIA – 29TH SEPTEMBER, 2015 – THE Sixth Session of the South Africa – Zambia Joint Defence Committee was held today in Pretoria, South Africa at which Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary, Ms. Rose Salukatula disclosed that she was happy that the on-going co-operation on defence training with Zambia was progressing well and that Zambia would like to explore more avenues from South Africa in other areas.
Ms. Salukatula, who is co-chairing the session, pointed out that Zambia was concerned with the continued instability in some parts of Africa and beyond.
“It is our prayer that amicable solutions will soon be found to bring peace to these conflict regions,” Ms. Salukatula said.
She observed that although it had taken a long time since the last meeting was held in 2008, she was encouraged by the interaction made by various services especially in the areas of training and sharing of information.
“The kind of expertise in this meeting will undoubtedly come up with activities that will further enhance professionalism in our defence forces,” Ms. Salukatula said.
Zambia also expressed condolences to South Africa on the death of a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier who was killed in Sudan’s Darfur region on Sunday.
And Secretary for South Africa’s Ministry of Defence, Dr. Sam Gulube said it was important that the two parties revisit progress made since 2008, evaluate the issues and come up with strategies to ensure that decisions made then were implemented.
“Our two countries enjoy sound and cordial relations and these relations can be traced back to before July 2002 when the agreement of the South Africa – Zambia Defence Joint Committee was signed,” Dr. Gulube said.
He said regardless of the challenges that have made it difficult for meetings to take place, Zambia and South Africa have continued to work together to ensure that the two countries and the region remained peaceful and stable.
Dr. Gulube said some parts of Africa continued to face instability resulting into social challenges on the people.
He urged the Southern African Development Community (SADC) not to spare efforts in restoring stability to these regions if lives of the people were to improve.
“Participants should ensure that decisions from this meeting have a time frame so that future meetings are fruitful. South Africa would like to pledge commitment to an open engagement during these deliberations,” Dr. Gulube said.
The Zambian delegation included the Army Commander and senior officers from the Zambia Defence Force.
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