The 16 country strong Southern African Development Community (SADC), currently committed to a peace mission in Mozambique, maintains its regional indicative strategic development plan (RISDP) is anchored on peace, security and good governance across the region.
A communique issued this week has it RISDP 2020/30 aims “to enhance conflict prevention, management and resolution mechanisms with an effective early warning system capable of tracking and monitoring political, security and socio-economic threats”.
The SADC region remains stable and peaceful “notwithstanding isolated challenges” one of which is Mozambique where SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique) is, in collaboration with local forces and a Rwandan contingent, attempting to halt a years’ long insurgency led by Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah (ASWJ).
Examples of peace efforts cited in the communique include a preventive mission to Lesotho, peace and political support to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), mediation in Madagascar, facilitation in Lesotho and deployment of the standby force in Mozambique from July.
“These measures address emerging challenges and enable member states and the region to restore stability, peace and security.”
Improving collective defence and security across the region will see SADC strengthen the capacity of its regional standby force to safeguard territorial integrity and “conduct complex and multi-dimensional peace support operations”.
Upping defence and security “will be complemented by effective implementation of an overarching common defence policy and regional strategies on maritime security, cyber security and anti-terrorism, together with increased engagement of young people in defence and peace processes”.
On outcomes, the regional bloc will pursue strengthened early warning systems; enhanced conflict mediation, prevention and preventative diplomacy; structured engagement with civil society in conflict prevention, management and resolution of disputes. Transnational organised crime is also on the SADC agenda up to 2030.
Stability across southern Africa is attributed to solid systems and measures. These include regional early warning, preventive and mediation mechanisms facilitating “timely detection and redress of threats and challenges”. Effective deployment of SADC electoral observation missions is also cited as adding to stability in the bloc’s 16 member states.
They are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, DR Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.