Zambia has expressed concern that conflicts in neighboring countries and those in the Great Lakes Region might affect her if they were not resolved amicably.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wylbur Simuusa said Zambia will therefore strive to help other countries in the region to resolve their conflicts peacefully so that they do not affect her especially in the border areas.
Mr. Simuusa said Zambia will carefully observe and participate in seeking solutions to the problems facing countries such as South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic in order to ensure that peace and stability were restored.
He said as Zambia does that, it will avoid being drawn into conflicts in the process.
The Minister noted that members of the Great Lakes Region and the international community respect and recognize the voice of Zambia in the resolution of disputes in the region because the country stands out as an example of peace and good governance in the world.
Mr. Simuusa said Zambia has earned its respect and recognition following the peacefully transition of power and the continued good governance it has exhibited hence its voice in regional summits and conferences on peace resolution is so much important and respected.
He further said the country has played an important role in restoring peace and stability in the DRC and was now working hard with other member states of the Great Lakes Region to find amicable ways of restoring peace in South Sudan and others countries.
He said the Ministers of Foreign Affairs at the Great Lake region summit have been looking at the report on the violence in South Sudan and will today submit it to the Presidents at the ongoing International Conference on Great Lakes Region summit for in Luanda in Angola.
Mr. Simuusa said the heads of state will look at the recommendations and decide the way out on the conflicts in the youngest country in Africa, South Sudan.
He however disclosed that the inter-ministerial committee meeting did not look at the conflict in Central African Republic but was hopeful that the regional will soon seek ways of helping them.
He added that the summit will also look at the budget for the Great Lakes Region noting that Zambia will need to ask the sub-regional body, Great Lakes Region, to allocate a substantial amount to the Levy Mwanawasa Institute of Good Governance and Democracy which Zambia is
hosting in Lusaka.
He said the good governance and democracy institute in Lusaka promotes peace and stability in the region and should therefore be supported by the regional body.
Mr. Simuusa was speaking in an interview before the official opening of the fifth ordinary International Conference on the Great Lakes Region summit for heads of state and government.
Zambia is represented at the summit by vice President Guy Scott, who is attending the conference on behalf of President Michael Sata and leading a delegation of two ministers and others officials.
Dr. Scott arrived in Luanda, Angola yesterday and later attended a state banquet hosted by Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.
South African President Jacob Zuma and Rwanda President Paul Kagame were also present at a colourful dinner which was characterized by traditional and cultural music and dances.