On April 28, a delegation from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) consisting of representatives from Namibia, Zambia, South Africa, and the SADC Secretariat met with U.S. officials from the National Security Staff, the Department of State, the Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for International Development to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe.
U.S. officials included Ambassador Mary Yates, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for African Affairs at the National Security Staff; Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the Department of State; Susan Page, Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the Department of State; Andy Baukol, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa at the Department of Treasury; and Larry Garber, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ambassador Tuliamani Kalomoh, Special Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Namibia, led the SADC delegation. The delegation also included Ambassador Lucy Mungoma, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Zambia; Ambassador Sonto Kudjoe, Deputy Director General, Africa Multilateral, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa; Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu, Presidential International Relations Advisor, South Africa; and Tanki Mothae, Director, SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation.
The United States affirmed the importance of SADC’s role as guarantor of the 2008 Global Political Agreement and lauded SADC’s recent announcement that it would support Zimbabwe’s efforts to formulate guidelines for peaceful, free and fair elections. Assistant Secretary Carson and U.S. officials emphasized concern over the recent increase in politically motivated arrests, harassment, intimidation and violence throughout Zimbabwe.
The U.S. delegation emphasized its ongoing support to Zimbabwe in the areas of public health, education, agriculture, and food assistance and its desire to help Zimbabwe become a country that is peaceful, stable, democratic, and prioritizes sustainable economic development and social prosperity for its citizens.