SADC extends military mission to Mozambique – AIM

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SADC extends military mission to Mozambique – AIM
SADC extends military mission to Mozambique – AIM

Africa-Press – Mozambique. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Wednesday noted the good progress made in the fight against terrorism in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado since the deployment of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and decided to extend the mission’s mandate with the associated budgetary implications

The decision is included in the final communiqué from the SADC Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, held on Wednesday in the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, The communique also approved the framework for support to Mozambique in addressing terrorism which outlines, among others, actions for consolidating peace, security, and the socio-economic recovery of Cabo Delgado.

The final statement from the summit did not say how long the SAMIM mandate will be extended for – but, according to a report in Thursday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the extension will initially be for a period of three months, at a budget of 29.5 million US dollars. That extension would mean SAMIM forces remaining inn Mozambique until at least mid-April.

Addressing the opening session of the summit, the current SADC Chairperson, Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera, urged regional bloc member states to stick together and ensure that SAMIM remains multidimensional and comprehensive. He entreated SADC member countries not to relent, regress or even retreat on their commitments.

“What remains now is for us to stay the course and stick together. We cannot relent. We cannot regress. We cannot retreat. Our approach to this mission must continue to be multidimensional and comprehensive. It must not only focus on neutralizing the threat, but also have a post-conflict plan to rebuild”, said Chakwera.

He pointed out that the collective mission in Mozambique is paramount and ongoing, and the stakes for all the Member States are high, because what they are fighting for is regional stability.

Member states are not only fighting for the region’s peace and security, but also for the sustainability of the quest for the bloc’s integration and socio-economic development, Chakwera stressed.

“As long as our brothers and sisters in Northern Mozambique are fleeing their homes to escape the armed threats to their lives, none of us here can be at peace. So long as our Mozambican brothers and sisters are being forced to abandon the fields they had hoped to be cultivating at this time, none of us here can be at peace”, Chakwera pointed out.

As long as Mozambicans are being forced to choose between leaving food and clothing behind in Cabo Delgado to face the prospect of starvation and humiliation and staying there to face the cruelty and violence of the terrorists, none of the countries can be at peace, he added

“It is therefore no exaggeration to say that our mission in Mozambique is a mission that cannot and must not fail,” Chakwera declared, adding that its success depends on the regional bloc’s resolve, support, unity, and endurance.

He also hailed the remarkable progress SAMIM is making on the ground. The success SAMIM has recorded by standing shoulder to shoulder with Mozambique’s Defence Forces has brought renewed hope to the affected population, particularly internally displaced people (IDPs), including women and children, as they look forward to a better tomorrow in which they can return to their homes, Chakwera said.

Chakwera welcomed the comprehensive Cabo Delgado Reconstruction Plan launched by his Mozambican counterpart, Filipe Nyusi, and his government, which, among other issues, seeks to provide humanitarian support to the affected population, including internally displaced persons, and uplift their living standards.

Speaking at a press conference after the summit, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said the meeting had also dealt with the need to build up the capacity of the Mozambican defence and security forces.

He was optimistic about the current military situation in Cabo Delgado. He said that all the bases from which the terrorists used to plan their actions are now in the hands of the Mozambican forces.

“The enemy is in flight”, said Nyusi. “They are trying to disperse in order to confuse the attention of our armed forces. That is, they operate in one place and then flee to another. Fortunately, we are chasing them”.

For Nyusi, 2022 will be “a decisive year”, since “our friends have made themselves available to support the fight against terrorism in Mozambique, wherever it may occur”.

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