President Lazarus Chakwera is among heads of State expected to attend the extraordinary Sadc Troika Summit for Defence and Security in Botswana today.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Luckie Sikwese said in an interview yesterday the President will arrive in Botswana today and return he same day.
The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Troika Meeting is scheduled to tackle emerging security challenges the region is facing.
Speaking in Gaborone, Botswana ahead of the summit, Sikwese said it will discuss issues of terrorism in the region especially in Mozambique and the proposed change in the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He said: “The leaders will discuss terrorism attacks in Mozambique and the proposal by the United Nations to make some changes in the Force Intervention Brigade.”
According to Sikwese, the urgency of the matter at hand has forced the regional grouping to call for a physical meeting despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The two security issues are crucial for continued peace in the region; hence, the chairperson of the Sadc Troika, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi found it necessary to call for this extra ordinary meeting,” he explained.
Other heads of States expected to attend are Tanzania’s John Pombe Magufuli, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, DRC’s Félix Tshisekedi, Mozambique’s Filipe Nyusi and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Besides the bloc’s FIB, other highlights of the meeting include Troop Contributing Countries as well as the DRC and the Republic of Mozambique which face longstanding civil conflicts that have killed scores and displaced millions of citizens.
Masisi, who is chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation also called the emergency meeting amid a growing Islamist jihadist threat in Mozambique that puts all countries in the region at high risk of infiltration.
The Sadc Troika of the Organ comprises Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe as the current, incoming and outgoing chairperson respectively while Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania are FIB troop contributing countries under the United Nations’ Organisation Stabilisation Mission in DRC.
The summit was preceded by a ministerial level committee of the Organ yesterday.
The Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation aims to promote peace and security in the region in line with Article 2 of the Sadc Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
At a previous Sadc Troika meeting earlier this year, Nyusi urged fellow African leaders to support his government’s fight against terrorism, saying the war on terror requires concerted efforts.