Gaborone — The insurgency in Mozambique could lead to a spillover and ultimately instability in southern Africa if left unattended, says President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Speaking on Radio Botswana's Masa-a-Sele programme yesterday, he said it was therefore paramount for SADC to intervene to prevent the three-year-old insurgency in northern Mozambique from spilling over the country's borders.
Condemning the terrorist attacks, mostly in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province, Dr Masisi said such heinous acts could not be allowed to continue without a proportionate regional response.
The attacks, he said, were an affront to peace and security not only in Mozambique but also in the region and the international community as a whole.
He vowed to use his term as SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security chair to work with other regional leaders in finding lasting solutions to instability in the region.
In the case of Botswana, Dr Masisi said it would be reprehensible for the country not to respond when it had the mechanisms, resources and responsibility of supporting Mozambique.
The two countries, he pointed out, had strong bilateral relations and economic ties as Botswana currently imported part of its oil supply from Mozambique.
Dr Masisi expressed Botswana's full solidarity with Mozambique as well as the armed forces on the ground working towards restoring peace and security in the affected areas.
He further reaffirmed Botswana's commitment to contribute towards efforts to bring about lasting peace and security as well as reconciliation and development in Mozambique.
President Masisi said the acts of terrorism perpetrated against innocent civilians, women and children were utterly disheartening.
The indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population had resulted in loss of life, injuries and displacement of many, he noted.
The President said the situation had heightened insecurity in the area and led to a serious humanitarian crisis, especially the need for provision of basic services such as food, water and shelter to the affected population.
President Masisi said the recently held SADC double troika summit expressed the bloc's full solidarity with Mozambique.
It also reaffirmed SADC's continued commitment to contribute towards efforts to bring about lasting peace and security as well as reconciliation and development.
He said the summit had directed an immediate SADC technical deployment to Mozambique and the convening of an extraordinary meeting of the organ's ministerial committee by April 28 that will report to a special organ summit.
Source : BOPA