The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is working towards ensuring a stable and peaceful future for its people, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
“Our priority remains to serve and protect our citizens, and prevent instability and conflict,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said.
Speaking on Tuesday, as the Chairperson the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, the Minister said the SADC region is honoured to be hosting the Exercise AMANI AFRICA II Field Training Exercise to operationalise the African Standby Force, reports official government news service SANews.
“We are pleased to be part of strengthening our continent’s military response mechanisms.
“This further illustrates our region’s commitment towards self-reliance and interventions led by African nations,” she said.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane was speaking on the last day of the 17th meeting of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation which started on Monday.
“Over the past two days, we have had robust debate on matters close to our respective nations and how they affect our region.
“Politics, defence and security matters shape the development trajectory of our region,” she said.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said SADC was encouraged by the progress made in the political and security situation in the Eastern DRC, the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of Madagascar.
“However, we remain aware that peace-building is an ongoing process and we should therefore continue to be engaged in assisting our fellow brothers and sisters in finding lasting solution to their challenges,” she said.
Some of the issues that were discussed at the meeting included the need to develop a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy in light of some of the emerging security challenges facing the continent and the world.
“The SADC Electoral Observation Missions and the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) were also acknowledged for their roles in enhancing good governance and strengthening existing democratic institutions and structures in the region,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said.
Other issues discussed involved how SADC security framework and regional early warning systems should be improved to ensure they provide effective and efficient alerts to potential insecurity and instability.