The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Extraordinary Summit held in Lilongwe, Malawi, on Wednesday paid tribute to fallen soldiers and committed to carrying on the fight against terrorism in Mozambique.
The summit attended by SADC heads of state and government expressed “deep condolences and sympathies” to the countries and families of soldiers who lost their lives while on deployment to the SADC mission in Mozambique.
The Leadership of SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and heads of defence and security sectors also attended the summit, which wished those wounded in action “a speedy recovery”.
The two-day summit, opened by South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, considered the report of the Organ Troika Summit, Personnel Contributing Countries (PCCs), and Mozambique held on 11 January 2022.
Ramaphosa the chairperson of the SADC organ on politics, defence and security cooperation, was commended for his leadership and efforts in ensuring a successful mission as well as sustained peace and security in the region.
The summit also commended the SAMIM leadership and the troops for conducting successful operations and for the achievements recorded since the deployment of the mission in July 2021.
“The summit noted the good progress made since the deployment of the SADC mission in Mozambique and extended its mandate with associated budgetary implications, and that it will continue to monitor the situation going forwards,” said a SADC communique released after the meeting.
SADC member states have provided personnel, equipment, and financial support, as well as making additional pledges towards the deployment of soldiers to the mission in Mozambique.
The summit thanked the members for their commitment to regional peace and security and especially the enormous sacrifice made despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economies.
The summit commended the SADC for its unwavering commitment to peace and security, and for using its own resources in addressing and combating terrorism in Cabo Delgado, which is a unique precedent on the African continent.
Acts of solidarity exhibited in the form of food pledges made by Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe were commended.
The food aid will alleviate the suffering faced by the internally displaced persons in the Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique.
The summit approved the Framework for Support to Mozambique in addressing terrorism which outlines, among others, actions for consolidating peace, security, and socio-economic recovery of the Cabo Delgado.
“Summit acknowledged the expression of gratitude to SADC by Mozambique for the continued regional support to Mozambique to combat acts of terrorism and violent extremism in some districts of Cabo Delgado province, despite the limited resources and the current challenges imposed by the Covid-19 Pandemic,” said SADC in a communique.
Mozambique was commended for initiating and implementing the Cabo Delgado Reconstruction Plan to enable the delivery of social services and amenities.
The summit welcomed the initiative of convening an International Conference to support the economic and social reconstruction of Cabo Delgado province and called upon the international cooperating partners to support the initiative.
Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera successfully convened and hosted the Extraordinary Summit.
Those who attended the summit included Democratic Republic of Congo President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, Mozambique President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema, Botswana Vice President Slumber Tsogwane and Namibia Vice President Dr. Nangolo Mbumba.
Tanzania Vice President Dr. Philip Isdor Mpango, Zimbabwe Vice President General (Rtd.) Dr. Constantino Chiwengwa and Eswatini Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho also attended the summit.
Lesotho Finance Minister Thabo Sophonea, Angola Secretary of State for Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Jose Maria De Lima, Mauritius High Commissioner to South Africa, and SADC Dr. Prakarmajith Vijaye Lutchmun, and Seychelles High Commissioner to South Africa and SADC Ambassador Claude Morel completed the guest list of notable dignitaries.