SADC envoys prepare for Heads of State visit to Mozambique

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The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) can expect a Heads of State visit in the not too distant future.

This is a stated outcome of a visit by a group of SADC ambassadors who went north to the port city Pemba from Maputo for, among others, “an appreciation of SAMIM operations”.

The three-day visit earlier this month (March), according to an SADC statement, was to give moral support to soldiers and other military personnel making up the current strength of the regional bloc force in Mozambique, assess and appraise humanitarian operations and make a first-hand assessment “to enable a clear assessment and pave the way for the imminent visit by Heads of State and Government”.

Malawian ambassador to Mozambique, Wezi Moyo, seemingly spokesperson for the group, is quoted as saying “acts of terrorism are detrimental to the unity and solidarity the SADC region has enjoyed over the years” adding neutralisation of the insurgents was “critical”.

She is further reported as saying: “The visit was as a result of resolutions of the SADC Troika Summit in Pretoria in 2021 which, among others, agreed Heads of State and Government should undertake a visit to Pemba to not only experience operations of troops but to further appraise the humanitarian situation”.

Speaking on behalf of the envoys Moyo said the insurgency and related terrorism in Cabo Delgado are “detrimental” to the region’s solidarity and it was “critical the enemy is neutralised as a unit and a collective force”.

The group was informed by SAMIM Head and Special Representative of the Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, Professor Mpho Molomo that the “commitment and willingness” of the SADC standby force working with the Mozambican defence force, Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique (FADM), and Rwandan troops was “testimony to the assurances and ideals of regional integration and Pan Africanism”.

He further informed the envoys operations, without specifying civil or military, “needed” to expand and more resources should be committed to support the mission in all aspects and means to aid in “finding, fixing, neutralising and degrading terrorists”.

The intent of SAMIM, the statement has Molomo saying, is “to expeditiously degrade and weaken the terrorists so it will be impossible for them to regroup to further destabilise more targets”.

Military officers gave insight into operations “highlighting challenges and successes since the mission was launched on 9 August”, including seven deaths.

The group of ambassadors included Director of Regional and Continental Integration for Mozambique and SADC National Contact Point for Mozambique, Ambassador Carlos da Costa; South African High Commissioner to Mozambique, General (ret) Siphiwe Nyanda; Botswana High Commissioner to Mozambique, Gobe Pitso; Zimbabwe High Commissioner to Mozambique, Victor Matemadanda; Acting Secretary of State of Cabo Delgado, Dario Sidonio Passo and representatives for Angola, Eswatini, Tanzania and Zambia as well as military leadership from SADC personnel contributing countries.