SADC “concerned” over Cabo Delgado violence

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With a meeting of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security looming large to address the northern Mozambique situation, the regional bloc expressed “deep concern” about continued terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, “especially for the lives and welfare of residents who continue to suffer from atrocious, brutal and indiscriminate assaults”.

The security organ is led by Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who will chair the meeting in Maputo, apparently on Thursday (8 April). Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa) and Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe) also serve on it. SADC executive secretary Stergomena Tax invited three more SADC member states (Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, the SADC troika) to the Mozambican capital for the meeting to deliberate on measures to address terrorism.

Masisi is reported by SADC as saying recent attacks, centred on Palma in Cabo Delgado, heightened insecurity and created a serious humanitarian crisis.

“SADC is concerned about continued terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, especially for the lives and welfare of residents suffering from atrocious, brutal and indiscriminate assaults. The attacks are an affront to peace and security, not only in Mozambique, but also in the region and the international community as a whole.

“We express full solidarity with the government and people of Mozambique, as well as armed forces on the ground, who are working toward restoring peace and security in affected areas. We also reaffirm our continued commitment to contribute to efforts to bring about lasting peace and security, as well as reconciliation and development in Mozambique,” the Botswana president is reported as saying.