The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has established a centre to promote regional cooperation in countering terrorism as the region moves to buffer its systems in the wake of the rising threat of terror attacks across the bloc.
In a statement on Wednesday, the organisation said the Tanzania-based SADC Regional Counter Terrorism Centre (RCTC) would coordinate regional counter-terrorism efforts in southern Africa.
It would facilitate cooperation among the 16 SADC member states in the control and fight against terrorist acts through the collection, analysis and exchange of information as well as the training of officials.
SADC Executive Secretary Elias Mpedi Magosi underlined that the RCTC would play a catalytic role in advising on counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism policies and programmes, and coordinating the implementation of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
"While significant progress has been made in the implementation of the SADC Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategy, there is still a need for the adoption of counter-terrorism measures, taking into consideration the current security landscape and emerging threats," Magosi said.
The launch of the SADC RCTC comes at a time the region is in the middle of fighting terrorism and violent extremism in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province.
The SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), which was deployed in July 2021, has been fighting alongside Mozambican and Rwanda forces to repel Islamic State-linked insurgents who have waged a terror war in the northern Mozambique region since 2017.
The terror attacks had claimed over 3,000 lives in Cabo Delgado and forced close to a million people to flee their homes be the intervention by SAMIM and Rwanda.