Instability in Mozambique to top agenda as SADC leaders hold series of meetings

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A military convoy of South Africa National Defence Forces rides along a dirt road in the Maringanha district in Pemba, Mozambique.
A military convoy of South Africa National Defence Forces rides along a dirt road in the Maringanha district in Pemba, Mozambique.
Alfredo Zuniga / AFP
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa to host Extraordinary SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation on Wednesday.
  • President Chakwera of Malawi will convene Summit of Heads of State to review the Mozambique situation on Friday.
  • The summit will discuss bringing peace and stability in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is holding week-long meetings that will culminate in a virtual Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government to review the bloc's mission in Mozambique on Friday.

Malawi's president, Lazarus Chakwera, in his capacity as SADC chairperson, will chair the summit.

In a statement, the regional bloc said: "The summit, will, among the key issues, discuss the support for effective operation of SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) objectives to bring peace and stability in Cabo Delgado in the Republic of Mozambique."

The SAMIM arrived in Mozambique in July 2021 after SADC member states, a month earlier, resolved to spearhead a regional response to Islamic extremists operating in Cabo Delgado.

READ | Is this the man behind the Mozambique insurgency?

Since the start of the mission, SADC recorded and reported casualties of soldiers from Botswana, Tanzania and most recently South Africa. However, they had captured and killed insurgents and raided some camps and repossessed arms as they attempt to gain control and restore normality in the province.

People carry their belongings off a boat as they a
People carry their belongings off a boat as they arrive at Paquitequete beach in Pemba after fleeing Palma, Mozambique, which was hit by insurgents.

In accordance with the SADC Treaty, the SADC summit was responsible for the overall policy direction and control of functions of the community, ultimately making it the policy-making institution of SADC.

However, Rwanda, a non-SADC member, also had specialised forces operating in Cabo Delgado not reporting to SADC, a move that, in the past, had upset SADC.

On Monday and Tuesday, meetings of experts of the Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) to assess the defence situation in the region, particularly in Mozambique, were held.

READ | Displaced people survive by eating grass amid discrimination in Mozambique

There's also the meeting on Tuesday of Senior Officials of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ which comprised defence ministers of member states.

Displaced women meet at the Centro Agr‡rio de Napa
Displaced women meet at the Centro Agr‡rio de Napala where hundreds of displaced arrived in recent months are sheltered, fleeing attacks by armed insurgents in different areas of the province of Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique.

On Wednesday, the Extraordinary Ministerial Committee of the Organ would convene and also the Extraordinary SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, hosted by its chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation comprised Heads of State and Government from Organ Troika members namely; Botswana, Namibia and South Africa and would be attended by the Republic of Mozambique.

Almost a million people have been displaced and more than 3 000 civilians killed since 2017 in Mozambique.

The humanitarian situation in the northern parts of Mozambique worsened, with terrorists taking up a scorched earth military strategy - vandalising schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure.


The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.     

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