Africa-Press – Namibia. Despite not having committed troops to Mozambique to help battle an Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Cabo Delgado province, vice president Nangolo Mbumba says Namibia remains committed to the SADC goals, aspirations and policies.
Mbumba said this at State House yesterday during the 39th Covid-19 public briefing on the national response measures following his return from Lilongwe, Malawi, where he attended the SADC Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments.
“We have not committed troops to Mozambique, but what we are saying is that there are many ways of helping Mozambique: there are appeals for food, and there are appeals for other things; we are coordinating for that. We will continue to support SADC,” Mbumba said.
“SADC has a principal policy that an attack to one of us is an attack to all of us, and we are committed to that,” he added. SADC mid-last year approved a US$12 million budget for the deployment of the Standby Force Mission for Mozambique.
Namibia committed a cash amount of about N$5.8 million, instead of deploying troops, to help SADC fight the Islamic extremist insurgency in that country.
Earlier in 2021, military experts from the group recommended that the SADC send about 3 000 soldiers with arms, helicopters, aeroplanes and naval ships. The insurgency in northern Mozambique started in Cabo Delgado province in 2017 and grew rapidly last year.
The rebels have held the port of Mocimboa da Praia for nearly a year, and have repeatedly attacked the strategic centre of Palma, forcing the French energy firm Total to suspend its US$20 billion liquified natural gas project there.
The just-ended SADC summit commended the SAMIM leadership and the troops for conducting successful operations as well as for the achievements recorded since the deployment of the mission in July last year.
The summit commended SADC member states that have provided personnel, equipment and financial support, as well as making additional pledges towards the deployment of the SADC mission in Mozambique 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 also commended the SADC region for its unwavering commitment to peace and security, and for using its resources in addressing and combating terrorism in Cabo Delgado, which is a unique precedent on the African continent.
The summit applauded acts of solidarity exhibited in the form of food pledges by the Republics of Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe to alleviate the suffering faced by the internally displaced persons in the Cabo Delgado Province.
Furthermore, the summit also approved the framework for support Mozambique in addressing terrorism, which outlines, among others, actions for consolidating peace, security and socio-economic recovery of the Cabo Delgado Province
Additionally, 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.