Zambia and the European Union work closely together on regional peace and security matters, including on crisis preparedness and response. Should the security situation in neighbouring DRC ever degrade to such an extent that an evacuation of EU nationals would be required, Zambia has generously offered to put in place formalised plans for their evacuation and protection via its territory. It was therefore an important step for improved crisis preparedness for EU nationals in DRC when today the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Stephen Kampyongo and the Ambassador of the European Union, H. E. Jacek Jankowski formally signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Zambia and 14 EU Member States on the potential evacuation of EU nationals from DRC.
EU Ambassador Jankowski signed the MoU on behalf of Belgium, France and Sweden. In order to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions, the MoU had previously already been signed by the Ambassador of Finland, Ms Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, the Ambassador of Ireland, Mr Seamus O’Grady, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Mr Radek Rubes, the Ambassador of Italy, Mr Antonino Maggiore and the Ambassador of Germany Mr Achim Burkart. The Ambassador of Germany, presently holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, signed as well on behalf of non-resident EU Member States Bulgaria, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal. Other EU Member States may always sign the MoU at a later stage.