Monday, January 17, 2022

SADC leaders pledge to continue fighting insurgents in Mozambique

A summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has ended in Malawi with member states pledging to continue fighting insurgents in Mozambique. SADC sent troops to Mozambique last year after Islamic extremists began terrorizing residents of northern Cabo Delgado province. Southern African leaders say they have made progress in fighting the rebels, but security experts say there are still challenges and talks should be an option.

In his closing remarks of the summit on Wednesday, SADC President and Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera said that the summit reaffirmed the commitment that SADC leaders have made to ensure that the region remains peaceful, stable and secure. .

FILE – Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera delivers an acceptance speech after assuming the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Lilongwe, Malawi. 17, 2021.

He said the summit provided an opportunity to review the mandate of the SADC mission in Mozambique in combating acts of terrorism and violent extremism.

Chakwera said, “In a special note today we have taken a bold and decisive step to expand the mission in Mozambique so that we are able to strengthen and maintain the achievements we have made so far.” “Until victory and peace are secured, we will not retreat, we will not retreat and we will not retreat.”

Chakwera said similar SADC interventions have been successful in the past.

“We stood together against formidable colonial powers, and we won. We stood together whenever part of our territory was devastated by natural disasters, and we won,” Chakwera said. “We stood together to defend our region against the COVID-19 pandemic despite our limited resources and we will win.”

However, security expert Sheriff Cassie, a former military officer with the Malawi Defense Forces, says there are still challenges in Mozambique and talks should be an option.

He said the challenge is that SADCs are fighting militias who are always dressed in civilian clothing, making them difficult to identify.

“So heads of state should not only stick to their guns, but combat them through weapons, but also by other means such as sitting. [with them], Rebels are also human beings. If you dehumanize them, the war will continue and many people will lose their lives,” Cassi said.

Media reports in Mozambique said nearly one million people have been displaced and more than 3,000 civilians killed since the conflict began.

In his remarks during the opening of the summit on Tuesday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, chairman of the SADC organ on politics, defense and security cooperation, said the situation in Cabo Delgado province had now improved.

He cited the return of internally displaced people to their home areas and the provision of humanitarian aid to the affected families.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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