The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has postponed to next week an Extraordinary Summit of the bloc’s Heads of State and Government which was initially scheduled to take place today.
The cancelled summit was meant to evaluate the performance of Sadc troops deployed in Mozambique on July 15 following approval by the Sadc heads on June 23 last year.
A statement released yesterday by the Sadc Secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana, said the Extra-Ordinary Sadc Summit will now take place physically from Wednesday January 12 in Lilongwe and will be presided over by President Lazarus Chakwera in his capacity as Sadc chairperson.
According to the statement, Wednesday’s high-level meeting will be preceded by two technical meetings on Tuesday, namely the Extra-Ordinary Organ Troika Summit and Extra-Ordinary Council of Ministers Summit.
The statement reads in part: “The Extraordinary Summit will review the progress of the Sadc Mission in Mozambique [Samim] which was deployed to support Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism.
“Prior to the Extraordinary Summit, His Excellency Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation will [on Tuesday] convene an Extraordinary Sadc Organ Troika Summit comprising Heads of State and Government from Organ Troika members, namely Botswana, Namibia and South Africa and will be attended by the Republic of Mozambique.”
The Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is a Sadc institution whose overall objective is to promote peace and security in the region in line with Article 2 of the Sadc Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
The conflict in Mozambique erupted in 2017 when Islamist militias launched an insurgency in some districts of northern Cabo Delgado Province and has killed over 2 000 people and displaced scores others.
But after numerous high-level engagements between Sadc leaders, the bloc finally agreed to deploy an armed intervention to help government soldiers crush the jihadist insurgency that threatens to destabilise the region’s peace and stability.
Meanwhile, South Africa, Rwanda, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho and Tanzania are some of the countries that sent hundreds of troops to Mozambique following the deployment approval by the leaders.
Sadc was established in 1980 to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through deeper cooperation and integration, among others.