Southern Africa: SADC, a Regional Integration Body or a Private Club for the Heads of State?

The SADC's Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government is to be held on August 17, 2020.
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The Southern Africa Human Rights Roundup is a weekly column aimed at highlighting important human rights news in southern Africa. It integrates efforts of human rights defenders and facilitates evidence-based engagement with key stakeholders and institutions on the human rights situation across the region.

The weekly roundup is a collaboration between the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network and Maverick Citizen.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summits never fail to come up with the most colourful and promising of themes. The 40th (SADC) Summit currently underway is themed: SADC: 40 Years Building Peace and Security, and Promoting Development and Resilience in the face of Global Challenges.

In light of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the annual Summit is for the first time in history being held in a virtual format. Mozambique is coordinating the summit from 10-17 August 2020. Despite the colourful and hopeful theme the summit is being held in the midst of serious human rights violations with total impunity in Zimbabwe, where the government has mastered the art of using Covid-19 measures to stifle democratic participation and demands for accountable governance.

As Maputo is co-ordinating the summit on peace and security, the main news was that...

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