Windhoek — Outgoing Sadc chairperson, President Hage Geingob of Namibia, on Tuesday hailed the new peace agreement signed by the Mozambique government and opposition Renamo party, which puts an end to years of conflicts in that country.
Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade, signed on Thursday last week a landmark agreement to put a formal end to military hostilities, almost three decades after the end of a civil war.
"The first of August 2019 will go down in the annals of history, as a day where the pendulum swung in favour of lasting peace, for the People of Mozambique," said Geingob.
He said this on Tuesday in Maputo, the Mozambique capital, during the signing of the pledge by the two sides, which will lead to peaceful elections scheduled for October this year.
"I welcome this landmark peace accord and congratulate my dear brothers, His Excellency President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi and Honorable Ossufo Momade, leader of Renamo, for placing a high premium on peace and stability for the development of all Mozambicans," added the outgoing Sadc chair.
He said as outgoing chairperson of the regional block, this final act of his tenure is without doubt one of the highlights of what has been a fulfilling year.
"Indeed, this is a crowning moment for me and I am pleased to have been invited to witness this momentous occasion, before I handover to my brother President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli next week," Geingob said.
"What you have been able to accomplish collectively, as the People of Mozambique, is a giant step forward for the entire region and continent," he added.
He said the peace accord and signing of the peace pledge are in line with the 50th anniversary solemn declaration of the African Union, in which the heads of state and government pledged to silence the guns and end all wars by December 2020, as part of efforts to promote an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa.
"Mozambique has shown that silencing the guns is not mere rhetoric. You have walked the talk. To buttress your commitment to silencing the guns, Sadc urges all parties to implement the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process and in this regard, stands ready to support the Republic of Mozambique in her preparations for an international conference to mobilise funds for the DDR process," he said.
He said even as Sadc marks the end of an era of war, it recognises that the work of achieving lasting peace has just begun.
"I am confident that my brothers, President Nyusi and Honorable Momade will carry out this process to its logical conclusion," he said.
"As you move towards general elections in October 2019 and as part of our efforts to consolidate democracy in our region, Sadc stands ready to support the Mozambique, in line with the revised Sadc principles and guidelines governing democratic elections and in the spirit of Pan-African solidarity," Geingob said.
Geingob said by signing the peace pledge, the people of Mozambique have chosen to live by the enduring value of peace.
"The peace accord and the peace pledge you are cementing today are a tribute to the hard work and cooperation of countless Mozambican leaders and citizens," Geingob said.
"Today marks a glorious triumph for the people of Mozambique, the region and continent at large," he added.
"For this is the day you say no to violence; this is the day you choose peace to prevail over conflict; and this is the day you hold hands and march forward, towards the shared ideals of peace, development and prosperity," he concluded.