PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is expected to join other Heads of State and Governments in Botswana today for a one-day SADC Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit that will focus on emerging terrorism threats in the region particularly in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The SADC Troika of the Organ of Politics and Defence includes Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe as the current, incoming and outgoing Chair of the Organ respectively.
The Heads of State Troika meeting follows yesterday’s indaba attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo (the outgoing Troika Ministerial Committee of the Organ chair), his South African counterpart Dr Naledi Pandor (incoming chairperson) and the chairperson of the committee Dr Lemogang Kwape, Botswana’s Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is hosting the indaba that is expected to address the challenge of terrorism and violent attacks through interventions.
The meeting is also expected to deliberate on the need to fully operationalise the SADC Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and urgently finalise the establishment of the SADC Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre (SADC-CTC).
In his opening remarks, Dr Lemogang Kwape told the Troika that although the region was entrenching democracy and enjoying peace, emerging threats of terrorism from Mozambique and the DRC were a cause for concern.
“Your Excellencies, while much has been done to consolidate democracy and to ensure that our region remains peaceful, there are emerging challenges that pose a serious threat to the stability and tranquillity that we have become so accustomed to.
“This, therefore, means that we cannot afford to be complacent and bask on our past glories.
“We must seriously review the political and security challenges in the region, with a view to respond to these emerging threats,” said Minister Kwape.
She said SADC needed to work together in the spirit of solidarity and togetherness, to pre-empt any latent and active forces within and without, that may threaten the peace and tranquillity in the region.
The SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, known as the Troika is the body whose overall objective is to promote peace and security in the region in line with Article 2 of the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
It is mandated to steer and provide member states with direction regarding matters that threaten peace, security and stability in the region.
The organ is coordinated at the level of a summit, consisting of a chairperson, the next leader designated to be chairperson and immediate past chairperson.
Mozambique, which is under threat from an Islamic insurgency operating in its northern Cabo Delgado Province, has filed a formal request for support from the regional body.