THE ruling Zanu PF party has urged Sadc States to mobilise and assist Mozambique in its fight against an Islamic insurgency which has plunged the neighbouring country’s northern region into a civil war.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Addressing a Press conference yesterday, acting party spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa accused the regional bloc of folding its hands while Mozambique was at the mercy of insurgents which threatened the stability of the region.
For the past four years, Mozambique has been struggling to end a conflict which has displaced around 3 000 of its citizens, and is believed to be caused by Al-Shabaab-linked militants who have since taken control of its northern province.
Reports also claim that more than 2 000 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict.
“Zanu PF contends and feels that Mozambique should not be expected to deal with a potential regional security threat of this gravity and magnitude alone,” Chinamasa said.
“As a member of Sadc and the African Union (AU), Mozambique should have recourse to regional and continental collective support.”
He said Sadc should invoke Article 6 of the Sadc Defence Pact, in defence of Mozambique whose appeal for support seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
“Various instruments oblige the regional body to come to Mozambique’s aid. For instance, Article 6(1) of the Sadc Mutual Defence Pact stipulates than an armed attack against a State party shall be considered a threat to regional peace and security and such an attack shall be met with immediate action,” Chinamasa said.
“Zanu PF hereby appeals to Sadc to invoke Article 6(1) of the Sadc Mutual Defence Pact and implement its 2015 counter-terrorism strategy to help combat the insurgency in northern Mozambique and prevent a spill over into the region.”
He said while Zimbabwe had the manpower, it was incapacitated and crippled in terms of arsenal and financial resources.
“In terms of military manpower, we have the capacity, but in terms of financial and other resources, and equipment, we will need the support of other countries,” Chinamasa said.
“Zanu PF’s position is that whatever intervention or support to Mozambique must be a collective Sadc, AU effort, where countries in the region will be called upon individually to give manpower and also other countries which are better placed economically to give the material resources, equipment to carry out the assignment.”
Highly-placed sources said Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi had already approached Mnangagwa for help, but the Zanu PF leader was hesitant to go in without Sadc backing.
The sources said Mnangagwa would also not directly tell Sadc to intervene, “that is why he is using party structures to try and put the issue on the radar”.
However, Chinamasa denied the allegations saying the call for action had come from the party.
“The party is superior to government, and as a party, we are basically concerned about the fact that there is no Sadc collective effort to support Mozambique. We are expressing this as a party, as Zanu PF appealing to our respective political parties,” he said.