The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has actively suppressed ASWJ (Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah) Islamist terrorist activity in Mozambique for 11 months and the situation is now at a point where the regional body deems it fit to start a peacebuilding initiative in the troubled northern part of the country.
A communique issued by the regional bloc has it its peacebuilding support programme aims to “enhance social protection mechanisms, law and order, humanitarian assistance and capacity building initiatives” in the province of Cabo Delgado province which has been under attack from terrorists and violent extremists since 2017.
The programme is funded by the European Union (EU) under the Early Response Mechanism of the African Union Commission (AUC) in support of Mozambique. Its implementation falls under the Africa Peace Facility’s Early Response Mechanism (ERM), a joint AU/EU emergency mechanism to provide funding for preventing, managing or resolving crises on the continent.
The initiative seeks to further calm the security situation in Cabo Delgado, which continues as relatively calm but unpredictable due to the threat posed by terrorist activities, according to the communique.
The SADC peacebuilding commitment to Mozambique follows last June’s SADC Heads of State and Government summit, which approved a SADC Standby Force with rapid deployment capability to the east African country. Following the deployment and relative peace in Cabo Delgado, several activities are underway under the auspices of the peacebuilding support programme.
Capacity building in the Mozambican police and correctional services is listed as one component along with skills development for women and youth.
According to the SADC, reconstruction of Cabo Delgado will cost an estimated $300 million with $100 million secured.
“Activities,” the regional bloc communique states, “provide for humanitarian assistance and multi-dimensional peacekeeping”. This entails involvement of civilians in confidence building measures/programmes, aimed at addressing mistrust in communities.
“This will create cohesion to facilitate synergies to foster peace and security and sustain social economic development in Cabo Delgado.” At national level, the Mozambican government-developed Cabo Delgado Recovery Plan (PRCD) is for areas affected by terrorists. The plan is in three pillars – humanitarian assistance, infrastructure recovery and economic and financial activity.
SADC efforts “resonate” with Mozambican, SADC and African Union (AU) conflict prevention and conflict resolution measures.
Civic leaders from areas affected by terrorism in Cabo Delgado have been identified to participate in dialogues to appreciate and better understand among others, grievances of community members, conflict resolution models and social resilience mechanisms in addressing conflicts.
Capacity building for police and correctional services officers; women and youth empowerment workshops and civic leaders dialogue will be held in Cabo Delgado’s five districts – Mocimboa da Praia, Palma, Quissanga, Macomia and Muidumbe starting next month (July).