- President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi has urged SADC states to support the Cabo Delgado Reconstruction Plan.
- He says the plan, besides reconstruction, seeks to empower the youth to avoid potential disgruntlement.
- SADC leaders also honoured soldiers who died in the line of duty.
The Malawian president and Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, has urged member states to support the Cabo Delgado reconstruction plan.
In his opening remarks at the SADC Extraordinary Summit in Lilongwe, Malawi, Chakwera said: "I, therefore, call on the member states and international co-operating partners to not only support the SADC Mission, but also support the comprehensive Cabo Delgado reconstruction plan."
The plan is an initiative launched by the Mozambican government to restore social and economic infrastructure wrecked during the incursions by insurgents in the oil- and gas-rich province.
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It started in November last year and will run until 2024.
With Mozambique's own resources and donor funds as well as funding from SADC member states, Mozambique estimates at least R3.2 billion will be required this year and roughly R1.6 billion for the next three years.
Chakwera said the plan, among other issues, would seek to address the youth's needs in the province to avoid disgruntlement that could lead to another bout of insurgency.
"This plan, among other things, seeks to provide humanitarian support to the affected population, including the internally displaced persons and uplift their living standards. This plan seeks to empower the people economically as a pre-emptive measure against radicalisation, especially among the youth," he added.
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Chakwera also called for a moment of silence for soldiers from the bloc's Standby Force Deployment Mission to Mozambique who died in the line of duty.
"It is only right, therefore, for us to honour the memory of these fallen heroes, for, in the face of danger, they faced and fought the terrorists with great courage in pursuit of the cause of our peace and the security of our region.
"I, therefore, invite your excellencies and distinguished delegates to rise and join me in observing a moment of silence in their honour," he said.
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