Pandor confirms SAMIM extension, gives no timeline


Naledi Pandor, the South African government’s senior international relations and co-operation go-to person, told her last media briefing of the year the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) mandate is extended to continue offensive operations against terrorists and violent extremists.

As has become standard, compliance with COVID-19 regulations meant Pandor was a talking head speaking to other talking heads. She told them, among others, South Africa continued “an active role in SADC, working as part of a regional collective and assuming specific responsibilities as assigned through the decision-making structures of the regional body”.

On South Africa’s eastern neighbour where troops and other military musterings from nine countries, eight in the SADC stable, are deployed alongside FADM (Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique) and a thousand strong Rwandan contingent offensively against ASWJ (Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah) terrorists in the northern Mozambican province Cabo Delgado, Pandor did not give any extension timeline. She referred only to SADC deploying a regional co-ordination mechanism “on the operations of SAMIM”.

The last extraordinary summit of the SADC Troika in Pretoria in October approved the extension of SAMIM “to continue with offensive operations against terrorists and violent extremists to consolidate the stability of security and create an environment conducive for resettlement of the population and facilitate humanitarian assistance operations and sustainable development”.

In the Botswana capital Gaborone, SADC executive secretary Elias Magosi told a senior Botswana cabinet minister the SADC region remains “calm, stable and peaceful” and where challenges exist they are addressed through existing structures. His comments follow a courtesy call on Botswana Finance and Economic Development Minister Peggy Serame.

Botswana, one of eight SADC countries contributing military equipment and personnel to SAMIM, would continue ensuring the regional bloc remained “relevant”. This, according to Serame, includes working to achieve the “principles, ideals, values, goals and aspirations envisioned by the forefathers during the formative years (of SADC)”.