Leaders of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) yesterday agreed to support Mozambique’s military in its fight against an Islamist insurgency in northern Cabo Delgado Province.
The Double Troika Summit was held in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, and was a continuation of the bloc’s efforts to address that country’s terrorism that has killed hundreds of people and displaced hundreds of thousands others since 2017.
It also followed last month’s recommendations by a Sadc technical assessment team for deployment of a 3 000-strong regional force to help Mozambique “combat and neutralise” the Islamic State-linked insurgents and recapture territory they had taken.
A communique issued after the high-level meeting last evening said Sadc “reaffirmed its solidarity with the Government and people of the Republic of Mozambique, and its continued efforts in addressing terrorism and ensuring lasting peace and security in Mozambique, which is also a threat to the Sadc region”.
It also said the summit noted the progress in finding a lasting solution to terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado Province, and considered the proposed regional response in support of the government.
The summit, which was attended by President Lazarus Chakwera, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, among others, has since agreed to convene another extraordinary Summit by June 20 2021 to be held in Mozambique.
Meanwhile, Mozambican leader Felipe Nyusi told reporters after the summit: “We adopted measures aiming to eliminate by its roots the terrorist actions through reinforcing the operational capacity of [Mozambique’s] defence and security forces.”
Nyusi has previously expressed reluctance to accept the military intervention, opting for bilateral aid and insisting that Mozambique should handle certain aspects of the response alone for reasons of sovereignty.
The Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (the Organ) is a Sadc institution whose overall objective is to promote peace and security in the region in line with Article 2 of the Sadc Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.