Remarkable progress has been made in containing terrorist activities in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, enabling the opening of humanitarian corridors for the safe return of internally displaced persons to their places of origin.
Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary Elias Magosi said this in his welcoming remarks at the Extra-ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika Plus SAMIM Personal Contributing Countries and the Republic of Mozambique, held in Windhoek on Wednesday.
'I am pleased to report that through the relentless efforts of the joint operation between the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and the Mozambique Defence Forces, remarkable progress has been made in containing terrorist activities there,' Magosi said.
Conflict erupted in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province after some of Africa’s biggest gas reserves were discovered in the Rovuma Basin off the coast.
Over 4 000 people have been killed and 800 000 displaced due to the insurgency that broke out at the end of 2017.
Magosi said while SADC recognises this achievement, the region must remain vigilant as the terrorists change their mode of operation and seek to expand their influence beyond Cabo Delgado to unleash acts of terrorism against innocent civilians.
He said the SAMIM mandate is due to expire on 15 July 2023 and necessitates SADC charting the way forward to ensure that the gains made in the restoration of peace and security in Cabo Delgado, are sustained.
He said while resource mobilisation efforts from partners are ongoing, there is an urgent need for SADC member states to continue to honour their remittance commitments towards the SAMIM budget to sustain the operational effectiveness of the mission's troops.
Magosi said the cash flow is depleted and may not sustain the mission for long.
On her part, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah who is the Chair of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ, said more needs to be done to ensure that peace and stability is restored in Mozambique.
'At this stage I wish to express our gratitude to all member states that have deployed both personnel and equipment in this regard, and also request those that have pledged capabilities to deploy them to the area of operations,' she said.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency