The major outcome of high-level Southern African Development Community (SADC) meetings on the increasingly volatile situation in northern Mozambique is an immediate deployment of a regional bloc technical mission.
Termed “an organ” (presumably SADC’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security) in an official communique released after Thursday’s meeting in Maputo, the mission will reportedly assess how Mozambique’s neighbours can assist in helping the country counter the Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado province. There is no mention of the make-up or size of the “technical deployment” and the sole indication of a timeframe appears to be an “extraordinary meeting” of the organ’s ministerial committee on 28 April. The organ, under the chairmanship of Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi, will report to an SADC Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit in Mozambique a day later.
According to the communique, the double troika summit in Maputo “noted with concern, acts of terrorism perpetrated against innocent civilians, women and children in some districts of Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique; condemned the terrorist attacks in strongest terms and affirmed that such heinous attacks cannot be allowed to continue without a proportionate regional response”.
The regional bloc expressed full solidarity with the government and people of Mozambique and reaffirmed SADC’s “continued commitment to contribute to efforts to bring about lasting peace and security, as well as reconciliation and development in the country”.
The double troika meeting was chaired by Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi, current SADC chair. Also present were Masisi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi, representing outgoing SADC chair and Tanzanian President Samia Hassan.