Angry Kasumbalesa residents have closed the Kasumbalesa Border Post and are demanding immediate interventions from the governments of Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) respectively.
Frustrated by perceived inaction by officials from both countries following the alleged murder of a Zambian cross-border truck driver two weeks ago, the impassioned mob has taken matters into their own hands.
Zambia Police have been deployed in full riot gear to quell the unrest and prevent further escalation of an already alarming situation.
The Kasumbalesa Border Post, which connects Zambia and DRC, is an important trading post which facilitates the crossing of approximately 2000 trucks each day in addition to other business activity. Disruption of this major trade route negatively impacts businesses owners and the economy.
Continued concerns for driver safety have resulted in the SADC Truck Drivers’ Association resolving to stagnate traffic into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) until the security situation in the country is given attention by heads of state from both Zambia and the DRC.
According to the SADC Truck Drivers’ Association President Eugene Ndhlovu, drivers from the entire region are worried that resolutions from a bilateral meeting between the Zambian government and their Congolese counterparts on Monday only culminated into verbal agreements without any official documents signed.
Mr. Ndhlovu says drivers are demanding that both President Hakainde Hichilema and President Felix Tshisekedi meet to find a lasting solution to the security challenges or have ministers in charge of security in the two countries spearhead discussions and commit to developing a viable security strategy.