SADC leaders convene a Mozambique security crisis meeting

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders are meeting in the Mozambican capital Maputo on Thursday to discuss a regional response to the volatile security situation in the mineral-rich north of the country.

The SADC Extraordinary Double Troika Summit is expected to discuss the terrorist attacks engulfing Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, including the possibility of deployment of a regional force to battle the insurgents in the area.

The summit is being attended by the presidents of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania - which form the SADC Summit Troika - and Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which make up the Troika of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

The meeting was postponed in April due to the unavailability of Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Masisi currently chairs the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, while Ramaphosa is his deputy.

The SADC leaders had agreed at an earlier emergency summit in April to deploy forces to assist Mozambique fend off attacks by Islamic State-linked insurgents who have wrecked havoc in Cabo Delgado since October 2017.

The earlier meeting had mandated defence and security chiefs from the 16 SADC member states to work on the modalities of activating the intervention force.

The latest meeting is, therefore, expected to deliberate on the proposal by the defence and security chiefs and map the way forward.

It comes in the wake of a recent surge in attacks on civilians and government installations by insurgents known locally as Al-Shabab although there is no link with the Somalian outfit that goes by a similar name and is aligned to Al-Qaeda.


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