BY RICHARD MUPONDE
SADC is preparing to deploy forces to counter Islamic insurgency that has rocked northern Mozambique for the past two years.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has all along been pleading with other Sadc member States to intervene in Cabo Del Gado province, where heinous killings have been taking place perpetrated by an Islamic group in the region and Palma, the provincial capital.
Sadc announced yesterday in a communiqué after the Troika Summit in Mozambique that it would respond proportionately to the attacks.
The summit was attended by Mnangagwa, host President Fillipe Nyusi, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan was represented by Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi. Sadc executive secretary Stergomena Tax was also in attendance.
“Double Troika Summit received a report from the Organ Troika on the security situation in
Mozambique and noted with concern the acts of terrorism perpetrated against innocent civilians, women and children in some of the districts of Cabo Delgado province of the Republic of Mozambique, condemned the terrorist attacks in strongest terms and affirmed that such heinous attacks cannot be allowed to continue without a proportionate regional response,” Sadc said.
The Troika Summit also directed an immediate technical deployment to Mozambique, and the convening of an extraordinary meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ by April 28, 2021 that will report to the extraordinary Organ Troika Summit on April 29, 2021.
The Cabo Delgado conflict mainly involves Islamist militants attempting to establish an Islamic State in the region, and Mozambican security forces.
Civilians have been the main target of attacks by Islamist militants.
More than 2 500 people have been killed and 700 000 have fled their homes since the insurgency began in 2017.
The main insurgent faction is Ansar al-Sunna, a native extremist faction with tenuous international connections.
From mid-2018, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant allegedly became active in northern Mozambique as well, and claimed their first attack against Mozambican security forces in June 2019.
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