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SADC throws weight behind counter terror crusade

THE heads of state and government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have condemned terrorism acts in the district of Cabo Delgado Province in Mozambique and have vowed to fight the problem in the region.

They noted that such heinous attacks cannot be allowed to continue without a proportionate regional response.

The statements were made in the joint communiqué of the SADC’s extraordinary Double Troika Summit (DTS) held on Thursday in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.

“The summit received a report from the Organ Troika on the security situation in Mozambique, and noted with concern the acts of terrorism perpetrated against innocent civilians, women and children in some of the districts of Cabo Delgado province of the Republic of Mozambique,” read part of the joint communiqué.

Moreover, the summit expressed its condolences and sympathies to the government and people of Mozambique, particularly the bereaved families, on the loss of their loved ones from the terrorism acts.

In doing so, the heads of state expressed SADC’s full solidarity with the government and people of Mozambique and reaffirmed the bloc’s continued commitment to contribute towards the efforts to bring about lasting peace and security, as well as reconciliation and development in the country.

The communiqué states further that the summit has directed immediate technical deployment to Mozambique, and the convening of an extraordinary meeting of the ministerial committee of the Organ by 28 April 2021 that will report to the extraordinary Organ Troika Summit the following day.

On his closing remarks to the summit, the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, the President of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said the deteriorating security situation in the Northern Province of Cabo Delgado is a serious threat to peace and security, not only in Mozambique, but also to the whole region and humanity at large.

“These disheartening and indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population have not only resulted in the loss of many innocent lives, but have also exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, especially the need for provision of basic services, such as food, water and shelter to the affected population,” he said.

According to him, a collective response in solidarity to Mozambique will not only restore peace and security in the affected areas but also bring SADC back on its development path.

Eerlier, on his welcoming note, SADC Chairman who is the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi said the fight on terrorism requires all member states to strengthen collective surveillance and improve the regional instruments on security.

He said security in the region is a priority for regional institutions, and that SADC is the appropriate and immediate forum for Member States cooperation and coordination to fight terrorism.

“Our cooperation must not neglect the responsibility and competence of each country in combating terrorism and other security threats, as the defence of each country are the primary responsibility of that respective country,” he said.

In the meeting, Tanzania was represented by President of Zanzibar, Dr Hussein Mwinyi on behalf of President Samia Suluhu Hassan. Other presidents who attended the summit were Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Dr Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi), Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa) as well as the Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr Stergomena Tax.

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