On April 29, 2021, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will convene an Extraordinary Troika Summit of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to deliberate on the continued insurgency in Mozambique.
The meeting follows the SADC Extraordinary Double Troika Summit held on April 8, 2021 which resolved to deploy a technical assessment team to Mozambique.
As the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an umbrella body of civic society organisations operating in Zimbabwe and chair of the Human Rights and Governance cluster of the Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network, we appreciate the regional response to the Mozambican conflict which has claimed more than 3 000 lives and left around 700 000 people displaced while a further 1.3 million civilians have been left in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
Since November 2020, we have made passionate calls for SADC to intervene in resolving the Mozambican conflict and in March 2021 a delegation of Crisis Coalition members met with Frelimo, civic society and church groups in Mozambique to discuss the Cabo Delgado conflict.
There was a consensus during the meetings that there is an urgent need for SADC to intervene in the Cabo Delgado conflict.
In as much as we appreciate military intervention in assisting the Mozambican government deal with the insurgents, we hereby make a call to SADC to prioritize humanitarian intervention, restoration of livelihoods as well as reintegration of societies affected by the insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province.
In the same vein, we urge SADC to consider setting up a coordinated humanitarian fund to assist Mozambicans in need of humanitarian assistance.
SADC intervention in Mozambique should also be anchored on ensuring restoration of human rights and protection of civilians. Security forces should be trained to protect civilians under threat from the insurgents in Mozambique and this should be in accordance with internationally accepted human rights standards.
Social and economic justice (equitable distribution of natural resources) should also form part of the SADC discussions on Mozambique.
Taking from the Extraordinary SADC People’s Summit hosted by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network on April 8, 2020 we reiterate that the armed conflict in Mozambique has its roots in unfair distribution of natural resources.
It is our expectation that SADC, as part of its crisis response plan, will take into consideration the above submissions as part of efforts to bring lasting peace to Mozambique.