Southern Africa: SADC Ministers Propose Help for Mozambique

Troops from Malawi, the DR Congo and eSwatini at a Southern African Development Community joint training exercise in 2018.
30 April 2021

The SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation yesterday recommended the summit to provide Mozambique with the assistance it requires to tackle insurgents.

This follows the submission of the report by service chiefs and security services to the Extraordinary Sadc Organ Troika on their intended response aimed at quelling Islamic insurgents in Mozambique which was scrutinised by security sector ministers on Wednesday.

The drawing up of the elaborate response plan comes on the back of the service chiefs having been directed by SADC to execute a regional response to the insurrectionists whose activities are now viewed as a threat to regional peace and stability.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Frederick Shava gave a summation of their meeting.

"The MCO noted that the security situation in Cabo Delgado is reportedly volatile. In that regard, the Ministers called for concerted efforts to address this security situation in the region.

"The Minister recommended to the summit that SADC provides the required assistance to Mozambique, to enable it to address the situation in Cabo Delgado," said Minister Shava.

"Regrettably the extraordinary troika summit plus Mozambique that was scheduled for the 29th of April 2021 (yesterday) was postponed to a later date due to the unavailability of the chairperson, His Excellency President Masisi of Botswana who could not attend because of the balance of caution that he has to go to quarantine. We will be advised on the new dates of the summit."

Minister Shava was accompanied by the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of State for National Security Owen Ncube, Commander Defence Forces, General Philip Valerio Sibanda, other service chiefs and senior Government officials.

The recommendations of the service chiefs and security services to the extraordinary SADC Organ Troika and Minister are now due for deliberation by the heads of state.

The response will be guided by the bloc's defence pact of 2008 Botswana Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Dr Lemogang Kwape said.

"Our way forward as the region should be guided by the Sadc mutual defence pact, which entered into force in August 2008.

"As you are aware the pact provides for collective self-defence, and collective action, in particular article six of the pact states that 'an armed attack against a state party shall be considered a threat to regional peace and security and such an attack shall be met with immediate action'.

"In this regard, we all agree that we have a responsibility as a bloc to help a fellow member state whose sovereignty and territorial integrity are currently under serious threat," said Dr Kwape.

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