Civic Society Organisations under the auspices of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) have urged the Southern African Development Community to prioritise humanitarian intervention in the conflict ridden Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.
The Coalition whilst acknowledging military intervention by the regional bloc, called for the restoration of livelihoods and integration of societies.
"We appreciate the regional response to the Mozambican conflict which has claimed more than 3 000 lives and left around 700 000 people displaced while a further 1.3 million civilians have been left in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
"In as much as we appreciate military intervention in assisting the Mozambican government deal with the insurgents, we hereby make a call to SADC to prioritize humanitarian intervention, restoration of livelihoods as well as reintegration of societies affected by the insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province," CiZC said.
The Coalition said the intervention by SADC should be premised on guaranteeing protection of civilians.
"SADC intervention in Mozambique should also be anchored on ensuring restoration of human rights and protection of civilians. Security forces should be trained to protect civilians under threat from the insurgents in Mozambique and this should be in accordance with internationally accepted human rights standards.
"Social and economic justice (equitable distribution of natural resources) should also form part of the SADC discussions on Mozambique. We reiterate that the armed conflict in Mozambique has its roots in unfair distribution of natural resources. It is our expectation that SADC, as part of its crisis response plan, will take into consideration the above submissions as part of efforts to bring lasting peace to Mozambique." noted the CSOs.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is expected to convene an Extraordinary Troika Summit of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation tomorrow to deliberate on the continued insurgency in Mozambique.
The meeting follows the SADC Extraordinary Double Troika Summit held on early this month which resolved to deploy a technical assessment team to Mozambique.