Sadc meets to chart way forward to help ‘troubled’ Mozambique
President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday while the political and security situation in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) region was relatively peaceful and stable, the region has its share of challenges.
“As we deal with the security situation in support of our sister country, we are confident that, like in any other Sadc undertakings, security and stability in Mozambique will be restored,” said Ramaphosa.
Making his opening remarks during an extraordinary summit of the Sadc organ troika plus the Republic of Mozambique in Pretoria, Ramaphosa said the commitment, solidarity and collective sense of community of members of the Sadc were displayed by the generous support of member countries which contributed personnel to the Sadc rapid force in Mozambique.
Speaking in his capacity as the chair of the Sadc organ on politics, defence and security cooperation, Ramaphosa said the summit had convened to review the operations of the SADC mission in Mozambique.
He said on June 23 the Sadc extraordinary summit met in Maputo, where it approved the deployment of a Sadc standby force rapid deployment capability mission in Mozambique from July 15 with a mandate to combat acts of terrorism and violent extremists in the country’s Cabo Delgado province.
SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE reported earlier that Ramaphosa had told parliament in July the deployment would take effect on July 15 for an initial three months and at a cost of R984m.
“This deployment was approved for an initial period of three months subject to extension for further periods, depending on the evolution of the operational situation on the ground in Mozambique,” said Ramaphosa.
He said the mission was to be preceded by the deployment of a regional coordination mechanism.
Ramaphosa said as the mandate of the Sadc mission is due to expire on October 15, the summit will receive a report and assessment of the regional coordination mechanism and recommendations on a way forward.
The summit will receive a report from Mozambique on their own analysis and assessment and provide a report on their contribution to the Sadc mission, with the emphasis on progress but also focusing on whatever challenges may lie ahead. The meeting will also propose a way forward on how the mission can continue being executed.
“We are determined as a region that we pledge our solidarity and continue giving our support to Mozambique as it goes through this troubled moment in its life. These acts of terrorism and insurgency have disrupted ordinary people’s lives and it has therefore been important for the Sadc to come to the support of Mozambique.”
Ramaphosa said the Sadc would offer the same support to any member state facing the same challenges as Mozambique.
“Through acting in the way we are now, with this mission and deployment, we are making it very clear as a region that we will not tolerate any acts of terrorism targeted against our people in whatever country in the region.”
Acting as one, Ramaphosa said the Sadc would collaborate and cooperate in aid of Mozambique.
The summit is attended by Botswana’s President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, Namibian President Dr Hage Geingob and Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi.
Making his first remarks as Sadc executive secretary at the summit, Elias Magosi said: “The Sadc mission in Mozambique was deployed on July 9, starting with the regional coordination mechanism in Maputo, and attained full operational capability on August 30. I am glad to report that since its deployment the mission has registered considerable progress with life returning to normal in some parts of the region.”
He said this was all thanks to the work of Sadc forces on the ground. However, regrettably, the mission had lost three soldiers from Botswana and two from Tanzania.