A ministerial level peace and security meeting of the bloc of Southern African countries heard there are at least four threats to peace and security in its area of the continent.
They are (in no particular order) organised transnational crime, terrorist threats and threats to critical infrastructure.
A meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation in Pretoria this week adopted a number of strategic decisions and actions aimed at mitigating emerging threats to peace, security and stability in the SADC region, according to a communique.
The MCO urged all 16 member countries of the regional bloc to implement the SADC integrated strategy to prevent and combat transnational organised crime in the region and its action plan. In this regard, the MCO approved establishment of a regional task force to co-ordinate implementation of the strategy.
On terrorism, the MCO endorsed the revised regional counter-terrorism strategy and its plan of action for 2021-2025 urging member states to expedite development of national counter-terrorism strategies, recognising that preventing and combatting terrorism is key to national and regional peace and security.
The MCO noted critical infrastructure is subject to theft and vandalism and must be protected. In this regard those at the Pretoria meeting urged member states to “to collaborate and co-ordinate joint and simultaneous operations aimed at apprehending and disrupting activities of syndicates and individuals responsible for theft and vandalism of electricity and water infrastructure”.
Moving to the seas surrounding the sub-continent, the MCO approved the SADC integrated maritime security strategy (IMSS) and action plan. These instruments highlight the “significance of SADC regional maritime security by strengthening maritime governance, ensuring a safe and secure maritime domain, environmental management and optimising the SADC maritime economy,” according to the post-meeting communique.