The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has developed a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy, the outgoing head of the body’s organ on politics, defence and security co-operation said in Botswana.
South African president Jacob Zuma handed chairmanship of this SADC organ to Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi, during the summit in the Botswana capital of Gaborone.
Zuma said the counter-terrorism strategy “ensured preparedness in confronting these threats facing our continent and the world”.
During South Africa’s tenure as chair of the politics, defence and security co-operation organ, other threats including natural disasters, poverty and unemployment had also come under the microscope.
“As a region we have committed ourselves to ensuring our regional early warning system is improved to ensure it provides effective and efficient alerts to potential areas of insecurity and instability,” Zuma said.
He also called for ongoing support for sister countries in the region that continued to require support due to having pockets of conflict and urged South Africa’s continued support in this regard. South Africa has been a leading proponent of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) force as an interim measure until the AU African Standby Force (ASF) is fully operational.
Zuma told the summit SADC regional structures remained “responsive, co-ordinated and co-operative” in confronting emerging peace and security threats.
He pointed out the SADC region will host first continental Field Training Exercise Amani Africa II to operationalise the ASF.
“South Africa has volunteered to host the exercise, which will take place from October 19 to November 7. We urge member states to support this important exercise which contributes towards the strengthening of our deployment of peace support operations,” he said.