Southern African defence and security forces must remain vigilant and be alert to emerging threats in the region.
This is the gist of a 379 word statement issued by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) following a virtual meeting of the bloc’s defence sub-committee earlier this month.
The statement has it that “peace and security are the foundation for socio-economic development and for regional integration”.
SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, is quoted as saying “the region recorded significant progress in peace and security in support of regional integration” but some member states “recently experienced terrorist insurgencies that threaten to destabilise the rest of the region”.
She said a collective SADC effort was needed to address threats and “confront terrorist insurgencies to sustain peace and security in the region”.
Tax urged the SADC defence sub-committee to prioritise “operationalisation of the SADC Standby Force Component to enhance regional capacity”. This is in respect of disaster management and co-ordination of international humanitarian assistance, in line with the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.
On the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where three SADC countries form a Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) for the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, Tax said its operational effectiveness and command should “not be undermined” by a December UN Security Council resolution which renewed the brigade’s mandate.