The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an umbrella body of civic society organisations in Zimbabwe, commends the move by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to convene an Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit to discuss emerging peace and security issues in the region.
The meeting will be held in Gaborone, Botswana on November 27, 2020.
The Troika meeting comes after our call to SADC, (on November 11, 2020) for the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security to convene an urgent meeting and come up with a crisis response plan on the Mozambican crisis.
Our call followed the beheading of more than 50 people in the village of Aldeia da Paz outside Macomia in Northern Mozambique this November..
The Islamist insurgency in the northern part of Mozambique, also referred to as the Cabo Delgado civil war is indeed a threat to human security not only in Mozambique but the rest of the SADC region hence the need for intervention by SADC.
Since October 2017 more than 2 000 civilians have been killed as a result of the insurgency in Mozambique while more than 300 000 have been displaced and the humanitarian crisis in the Southern African country continues to worsen.
Damage to infrastructure has also affected livelihoods while internal displacements have the potential to accelerate the spread of COVID 19 given the fact that the Cabo Delgado region has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Mozambique.
Mozambique is a signatory to the African Union Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism (1999) and is also part of the SADC regional strategy on countering terrorism developed in 2015 and this allows for support to the Mozambican government in dealing with the Islamist insurgency.
More importantly, we urge SADC to invoke Article 6(1) of the SADC Mutual Defence Pact which considers an armed attack against a member state as a threat to regional security.
As Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, we also commend the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by Mozambique and Tanzania to fight the Islamist insurgency.
Military intervention in Mozambique remains a viable option for the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
We further urge SADC to prioritize humanitarian assistance for the more than 300 000 people who have been displaced since the Cabo Delgado civil war started in 2017.
It is also incumbent upon SADC to maintain and strengthen its peace initiative foot print under the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission (also known as MONUSCO) in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in light of the continued conflict which has led to loss of lives and livelihoods, displacements, food insecurity, looting of mineral resources and other gross human rights violations.