A top “organ” of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) approved downscaling the regional bloc’s military commitment to strife-torn northern Mozambique.
SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique) will “transit” from an African Union (AU) African Standby Force (ASF) guide scenario six to scenario five with what a communique termed “a robust mandate”.
No date was given for the change in status to SAMIM during the virtual meeting of an Extraordinary Summit of the Organ Troika of the Heads of State and Government – its official designation in all SADC communications – on Tuesday 12 April.
Scenario Six is, in part, described as an “intervention, for example in genocide situations where the international community does not act promptly” and the continental body terms scenario five as “a peacekeeping force for complex multi-dimensional peacekeeping missions, including those involving low-level spoilers”.
Other points in the communique commended SAMIM personnel contributing countries; an expression of solidarity with Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Tanzania on the deaths of soldiers in Mozambique; and a further commendation to Malawi and Zimbabwe. This was for “the spirit of solidarity expressed through delivery of the pledged donation of foodstuff in support of humanitarian assistance to the affected population of Cabo Delgado”.
On making the northern Mozambican province habitable and workable again, the Summit directed SAMIM Head of Mission Professor Mpho Molomo to “co-ordinate” with the Mozambican government on implementation of the “comprehensive integrated reconstruction and development plan” for Cabo Delgado. In this regard thanks also went to the AU and SADC international co-operating partners (ICPs) for stabilisation support of the security situation and the socio-economic recovery and development of Cabo Delgado.
The summit was officially opened and chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as South African President and chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.
The summit was attended by SADC Heads of State or representatives from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) , Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
In attendance were members of the Troika of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO), Ministers from the SAMIM Personnel Contributing Countries, the SADC Executive Secretary and Head of the SADC Mission in Mozambique.
President Ramaphosa was commended for his leadership in steering the work of the Organ in pursuit of lasting peace, security and stability in the SADC region.