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SADC extends Mozambique military mandate

The SADC Extraordinary Heads of State and Government Summit yesterday extended the mandate of the Standby Force Mission to Mozambique (SAMIM) for three-months to further assess the situation in the Cabo Delgado province.

The summit further agreed to convene an international conference of all partners and stakeholders involved in the fight against terrorism and violence in the troubled province where insurgents have displaced people and destroyed homes and infrastructure.

In a communiqué released at the end of the two-day summit, Heads of State and Government 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.

“Summit noted the good progress made since the deployment of the SADC Mission in Mozambique and extended its mandate with associated budgetary implications, and that it will continue to monitor the situation going forward,” reads part of the communique read by the region’s Executive Secretary Elias Mpedi Magosi.

A report of the Organ Troika Summit plus Personnel Contributing Countries (PCCs) was deliberated on, with the summit commending SAMIM leadership and the troops for conducting successful operations since the deployment of the mission in July 2021.

The summit commended member states that have provided personnel, equipment and financial support, as well as making additional pledges towards the deployment of the SADC Mission in Mozambique for their commitment to regional peace and security despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economies.

Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa were praised for their acts of solidarity exhibited in the form of food pledges meant to alleviate the suffering faced by the internally displaced persons in the Cabo Delgado province.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi expressed gratitude to SADC for its continued support in combating acts of terrorism and violent extremism in some districts of Cabo Delgado province, despite limited resources and the current challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

An initiative to convene an international conference to support the economic and social reconstruction of Cabo Delgado was unanimously endorsed by the delegates who called upon international cooperating partners to support the plan.

Commenting on the resolutions passed at the end of the summit, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who attended the summit on behalf of President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was pleased with the outcome and will always render support to a brotherly nation like Mozambique.

“The summit went on very well, starting with the officials and going into the Troika itself, which met yesterday. Everything went on very well. Today, things were very smooth and the issues, which are a major problem in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique were ironed out well and there was unanimous agreement on all the issues. I was quite happy with the outcome of the meeting,” said Dr Chiwenga.

He said Zimbabwe was playing its part in training Mozambique’s security personnel including the provision of food to people that have been displaced.

The summit was attended by the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera of Malawi as the host and SADC chairperson, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, while Botswana was represented by Vice President Slumber Tsogwane.

Namibia and Tanzania were both represented by their Vice Presidents — Dr Nangolo Mbumba and Dr Philip Isdor Mpango respectively.

Other representatives were Right Honourable Cleopas Sipho Dlamini-Eswatini, Hon Thabo Sophonea, Minister of Finance of Lesotho, Angola’s Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans- Maria De Lima, while Mauritius had its High Commissioner to South Africa and the SADC region Dr Prakarmajith Vijaye Lutchmun.

Vice President Chiwenga left Lilongwe for Harare soon after the close of the meeting.

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