from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE agreement to send a Southern African military force into Mozambique is the most significant step by regional leaders to curb the insurgency north of the country.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional leaders resolved to deploy the stand-by force in the Cabo Delgado province during a meeting in the capital, Maputo, on Wednesday.
“Summit endorsed the recommendations of the Report of the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and approved the Mandate for the SADC Standby Force Mission to the Republic of Mozambique, to be deployed in support of Mozambique to combat of terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado.”
Botswana president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, is the 16-nation regional bloc’s Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation.
Such details as to the size of the force and its financing were not disclosed.
The crisis in Cabo Delgado Started in 2017 but has risen in the past few months after the terrorists took over the coastal town of Palma.
Up to 3 000 people are estimated to have been killed.
There is fear the deployment of military forces from the region would aggravate the Islamists.
Negotiations with the assailants could also prove to be a double-edged sword and embolden the perpetrators, posing a dilemma for Mozambique and neighbouring states.
The summit urged the member states in collaboration with humanitarian agencies to continue providing humanitarian support to the population affected by the terrorist attacks, in Cabo Delgado.
Among other resolutions reached were the further calls on the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by some influential countries and the European Union.
SADC mourned the passing of former Zambia president, Kenneth Kaunda, Tanzania leader, John Magufuli, and Eswatini Prime Minister, Ambrose Dlamini.
It was confirmed the 41st Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government will be held in Lilongwe, Malawi in August.
SADC, headquartered in Botswana, is commemorating 40 years of existence, after its founding in Zambia.
– CAJ News