SADC is set to deploy a military force to help Mozambique defeat Islamic insurgents in the northern Cabo Delgado province after its Extraordinary Summit Council of Ministers agreed to finance the operation during a virtual meeting yesterday.
The drawing up of the elaborate response plan comes on the back of the Extraordinary SADC Organ Troika, attended by President Mnangagwa end of May this year.
The Heads of State directed an immediate agreement by the ministers to execute a regional response to the insurgents whose activities are now viewed as a threat to regional peace and stability.
“The Heads of State directed that the Council of Ministers meets immediately to discuss and approve the budget for the deployment of the SADC standby force in Mozambique,” said Ambassador Raphael Faranisi, chief director Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade after yesterday’s meeting.
“This in pursuit of assisting Mozambique to address the security situation in Cabo Delgado. Today (yesterday) the Council of Ministers met and deliberated on the budget.
“I am happy to say that the budget was approved and SADC will finance this mission from its own resources,” said Ambassador Faranisi.
Member states involved in the SADC standby force would be expected to make extra contributions to complement what SADC had provided.
“So from now onwards, we should be in a position to see the SADC standby force being deployed to Mozambique since the Council of Ministers has approved the budget,” said Ambassador Faranisi.
The ministers also agreed on a sustainable funding model to curb security threats that could arise in the region from time to time.
The region is currently seized with quelling the attacks by the Islamic State-linked insurgents on the coastal city of Palma where a Zimbabwean man, Nyasha Mugwagwa, was killed and several others displaced by the militant group.
“Over and above that, the ministers also discussed the issue of sustainable funding of peace operations in the region.
“This issue will be discussed at the next Council of Ministers so that we have a sustainable way of funding our peace operations in the region.”
At yesterday’s meeting Zimbabwe was led by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava.
Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, service chiefs and other senior Government officials also attended the meeting.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said: “Following the SADC Extraordinary Summit’s decision held in Maputo last week, which directed the Council of Ministers to approve the budget for SADC’s force deployment in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, the Council of Ministers met virtually today.
“The Council of Ministers approved that the budget will come from SADC’s own resources and that participating member states are expected to contribute towards the Mozambican Mission,” reads part of the statement.