Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) leaders have directed an immediate “fact- finding mission” to assess and investigate the recent terrorist attacks situation in the northern part of Mozambique.
The Sadc heads of State and government said this in a joint communique issued at the end of the Extraordinary Double Troika Summit on Thursday in Maputo, Mozambique to discuss interventions to address an Islamic insurgency in Cabo Delgado Province that has killed dozens of people and displaced over 11 000 others since October 2017.
The organ has since convened another summit later this month to decide the way forward.
Reads the communique in part: “The Double Troika Summit has directed an immediate technical deployment to the Republic of Mozambique, and convening of an Extraordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ by April 28 2021 that will report to the Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit on April 29, 2021.”
The leaders further condemned the terrorist attacks, warning that such attacks “cannot be allowed to continue without a proportionate regional response”.
The summit, hosted by Mozambican President and outgoing Sadc chairperson Filipe Nyusi, was attended by President Lazarus Chakwera (in-coming Sadc chairperson), Botswana’s Eric Masisi (chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation), South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa (in-coming chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation) and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa (outgoing chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation).
President Samia Suluhu Hassan of the United Republic of Tanzania was represented by President of Zanzibar Hussein Ali Mwinyi.
The leaders expressed condolences and sympathies to the Government and people of Mozambique, particularly the bereaved families, on the loss of their loved ones.
“The Double Troika Summit expressed Sadc’s full solidarity with the Government and people of the Republic of Mozambique, and reaffirm Sadc’s continued commitment to contribute towards the efforts to bring about lasting peace and security, as well as reconciliation and development in the Republic of Mozambique,” reads the communique in part.
Earlier on Thursday, the Double Troika Summit received a report from the Organ Troika on the security situation in Mozambique, and noted with concern, the acts of terrorism perpetrated against innocent civilians, women and children in some of the districts of Cabo Delgado Province.
The meeting also observed a minute of silence in honour of former Tanzanian president and the previous Sadc chairperson, the late John Magufuli who succumbed to heart failure last month.
Sadc leaders met on Wednesday and Thursday to deliberate and consider a regional response to the insurgency in the mineral-rich province, where Mozambique is implementing a multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas project led by French energy firm Total.