Towards stability in northern Mozambique

SANF 22 no 01 – by Clarkson Mambo
SADC will continue to provide logistical and military support to Mozambique until stability is fully attained in the northern part of the country.

This regional commitment was made by the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that met 12 January in Lilongwe, Malawi.

The SADC Extraordinary Summit agreed to extend the regional military mission Mozambique by yet another three months.

This is the second time that the mandate of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) has been extended.

The first mission was due to end in October 2021, but an Extraordinary Summit of the SADC Organ Troika plus Mozambique that met in September 2021 extended the mandate to January 2022.

“Summit noted the good progress made since the deployment of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and extended its mandate with associated budgetary implications, and that it will continue to monitor the situation going forwards,” reads part of the communique released soon after the summit.

The SAMIM was first deployed on 9 July following a decision by a SADC Summit held in June in Maputo, Mozambique.

This was in response to an increase in violent acts of extremism, terrorism and insurgency in northern Mozambique that posed potential threats to peace and stability in the region.

According to the United Nations, more than 3,000 people have been killed while 800,000 have been displaced in Mozambique since the beginning of the insurgency in 2007.

However, since the deployment of the SAMIM in July 2021 some progress has been recorded to curb the instability.

In this regard, the SADC Extraordinary Summit commended Member States that have provided personnel, equipment and financial support to Mozambique given challenges being faced as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economies.

The leaders said the unity of purpose among SADC Member States that set “a unique precedent on the African continent,” in which regional countries fight against terrorism using own resources.

The Summit also lauded the SAMIM for successful operations and achievements recorded during the period it has been in operation that have seen insurgents being driven out of many places they had occupied in the province, and some people returning to the homes.

“Summit expressed deep condolences and sympathies to the countries and families of personnel who lost their lives while on deployment to the SADC Mission in Mozambique and wished those wounded in action a speedy recovery,” the leaders said in a statement.

The SADC Extraordinary Summit also applauded the government of Mozambique for coming up with the Cabo Delgado Reconstruction Plan that seeks to enable the delivery of social services and amenities and initiating a strategy to mobilize international support for the plan.

The Plan will be supported by the Framework for Support to the Republic of Mozambique in addressing terrorism which outlines, among others, actions for consolidating peace, security and socio-economic recovery of the Cabo Delgado Province which the Extraordinary Summit Heads of State and Government approved.

“Summit welcomed the initiative of convening an international conference to support the economic and social reconstruction of Cabo Delgado Province, and called upon the international cooperating partners to support the initiative,” reads the communique.

Addressing the summit, the current chair of the SADC Organ Troika, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa said it is critical for the region to collectively address peace and security issues.

“Terrorism cannot be permitted to continue to thrive in any part of our region as its presence will reverse the stability and progress SADC has achieved in its four decades of existence,” President Ramaphosa said.

The SADC Organ Troika is responsible for promoting peace and security in the SADC region, and is coordinated at the level of Summit, reporting to the SADC Summit.

The Organ structure, operations and functions are established by the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

Prior to the SADC Extraordinary Summit, there was a series of various meetings including the extraordinary Organ Troika Summit Plus the Personnel Contributing Countries as well as the extraordinary Council of Ministers meeting.

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