Civic Society Organisations under the banner of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) have condemned the recent Islamist militants attacks in Northern Mozambique where more than 50 people were reportedly beheaded.
The militants reportedly turned a football pitch in a village into an "execution ground", where they decapitated and chopped bodies.
The beheadings are the latest in a series of gruesome attacks that the militants have carried out in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province since 2017.
In a statement, CiCZ called for collective action from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).
"The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition condemns the cruel and inhumane actions by the Islamist militants who beheaded more than 50 people in the village of Aldeia da Paz outside Macomia in Northern Mozambique.
"The Islamist insurgency in the Northern part of Mozambique which has stretched from 2017 is a call for collective action by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU)." said CiCZ
The situation in Cabo Delgado, the Coalition said is not only a security threat to Mozambicans but the SADC region.
"The Cabo Delgado Civil war is indeed a threat to human security not only in Mozambique but the rest of the SADC region hence the need for a collective approach by SADC and the AU in dealing with the insurgents.
"Since October 2017 nearly 2 000 civilians have been killed as a result of the insurgency in Mozambique while about 300 000 have been displaced and the humanitarian crisis in the Southern African country continues to worsen.
"Damage to infrastructure has also affected livelihoods while internal displacements have the potential to accelerate the spread of COVID 19 given the fact that the Cabo Delgado region has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Mozambique" noted the Coalition
CiCZ called on SADC to invoke the SADC Mutual Defence Pact and consider deployment of troops in the volatile region as it is a threat to the region.
"More importantly, SADC must invoke Article 6(1) of the SADC Mutual Defence Pact which considers an armed attack against a member state as a threat to regional security. Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition implores the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security to convene an urgent meeting whose objective shall be to formulate a crisis response plan and strategies for military deployment in Mozambique."
Writing on his Twitter handle yesterday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said regional security was important for the protection of people.
"I am deeply shocked by reports of terrorist activity in Mozambique. These acts of barbarity must be stamped out wherever they are found.
"Zimbabwe is ready to assist in any way we can. The security of our region is paramount in the protection of our people," said Mnangagwa.