SADC vows to assist Mozambique in war on terror
Southern African Development Community (SADC) at a summit has extended the mandate of a troop deployment in Mozambique to help the country fight an armed uprising, a communique from the summit showed.
The extraordinary summit ended in Malawi’s capital of Lilongwe with member countries pledging to continue to support Mozambique in fighting terrorism in Cabo Delgado Province.
“The SADC mission is registering success in Mozambique. What remains now is for the regional block to stay the course and stick together,” said Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera, who is chairman of the SADC.
Chakwera said the SADC approach to the Mozambique mission must continue to be multidimensional and comprehensive.
“This is not the time to relent, regress and retreat. The mission must not only focus on neutralizing the threat, but also have a post-conflict plan to rebuild,” he added.
The summit also approved the Framework for Support to the Republic of Mozambique in addressing terrorism.
The decision follows resolutions of the meeting of the bloc’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa which convened to review the deployment of SADC military personnel in Mozambique.
It outlines actions for consolidating peace, security and socio-economic recovery of Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province.
SADC leaders announced in a communique at the end of the summit a decision to convene an international conference to support the economic and social reconstruction of the province.
The conflict in Mozambique erupted in 2017 when militias reportedly launched an insurgency in northern Cabo Delgado Province districts that has killed more than 2,000 people and displaced scores of others.
After numerous high-level engagements between SADC leaders, the bloc agreed to deploy an armed intervention to help government soldiers crush the insurgency.
South Africa, Rwanda, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho and Tanzania are some countries that sent hundreds of troops to Mozambique.
SADC was established in 1980 to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through deeper cooperation and integration.