The southern African regional bloc’s support to peace and security programme (SPSS) reports “fundamental achievements” in four result areas on strategic policy documents and tools.
The areas are strengthened capacity for electoral assistance in SADC (Southern African Development Community); enhanced capacity for gender sensitive conflict prevention, management and resolution; strengthened capacity of member states to uphold and enhance cross-border safety and security; and a strengthened capacity to address sexual and gender-based violence.
The programme is headed by South Africa’s Linda Shongwe with President Cyril Ramaphosa currently chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.
SPSS is a SADC strategic intervention, according to a statement, supported by the European Union (EU) via its 11th European Development Fund, with a Euro 15 million (around R240 million at current exchange rates) funding intervention to “contribute to the sustenance of peace and security in SADC”.
The statement has Shongwe saying SPSS implementation from 2018 to 2022 was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A refocus and mutually agreed extension will see “key interventions” undertaken.
In response to emerging threats, the recalibration of SPSS resulted in significant resources going to the defence and state security sectors. These include supporting the technical assessment mission to Tanzania for establishment of the regional counter-terrorism centre (RCTC) and acquisition of ICT equipment for the RCTC databank to address the emerging threat of terrorism.
Resources were channelled to the defence sector’s technical missions to Mozambique to complement efforts by member states which financed four deployments of the SADC Standby Force, operating as the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM); as well as technical missions to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and training for the Standby Force in specialised pre-deployment courses offered by the regional peacekeeping training centre (RPTC).