June 24, 2022

SADC begins peace building support programme in northern Mozambique

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in the Republic of Mozambique (SAMIM) has begun implementing the Peace Building Support initiatives in Cabo Delgado Province in the northern part of the country. The SADC Peace Building Support Programme is aimed at enhancing social protection mechanisms, law and order, humanitarian assistance and capacity building initiatives in Cabo Delgado Province which has been under attack from terrorists and violent extremists.

The Peace Building Support Programme will, among others, enhance the capacity building of the police and correctional services; and skills development programmes for the youth and women for their social development. The programme is funded by the European Union (EU) under the Early Response Mechanism of the African Union Commission in support to the Republic of Mozambique. It is being implemented under the Africa Peace Facility’s Early Response Mechanism (ERM).

The initiative seeks to pacify the security situation in Cabo Delgado, which continues to be relatively calm but unpredictable due to the threat posed by terrorist activities. The SADC Peace Building Support to the Republic of Mozambique follows the Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government held on 23 June 2021, which approved a mandate to deploy SADC Standby Force Rapid Deployment Capability in the province. Following the deployment of SAMIM and relative peace in Cabo Delgado, there are now several activities being undertaken through the peacebuilding support programme.

The activities provide for humanitarian assistance and multidimensional peacekeeping which entails, among others, the involvement of civilians to undertake confidence building measures/programmes, aimed at addressing mistrust within the communities. This will create cohesion to facilitate synergies that will foster peace and security and sustain social economic development in Cabo Delgado Province. At national level, the Government of the Republic of Mozambique developed Cabo Delgado Recovery Plan (PRCD) in areas affected by terrorists. The Plan is organised into three pillars, namely Humanitarian Assistance; Infrastructure Recovery; and; Economic and Financial Activity. The Reconstruction Plan in Cabo Delgado requires an estimated budget of US$300 million, of which US$100 million has been secured.

SADC’s effort to build capacity for civilian police and correctional services; hold dialogues with civil leaders to build confidence and trust among community members; and youth and women empowerment initiatives to address grievances related to lack of opportunities, resonates with Government of the Republic of Mozambique, SADC and AU measures towards conflict prevention and conflict resolution.

The SADC Peacebuilding Support to the Republic of Mozambique provides support in collaboration with humanitarian agencies, to continue providing humanitarian relief/assistance to the population affected by the terrorist activities, including the Internally Displaced Persons coordination mechanisms.

The peace building support initiative will mainstream in all its activities cross-cutting issues such as the promotion of human rights, gender equality, democracy, good governance, children’s rights, the rights of indigenous peoples and environmental sustainability.

These issues are an integral part of the proposed three focus areas of the initiative, namely capacity building of Police and Correctional Services as law enforcement institutions; women and youth empowerment programmes to address gender equality and mainstreaming; and dialogue with civic leaders tailored towards good governance, rule of law and women's participation in decision-making.

Capacity building of police and correctional services addresses human rights issues and observance of the rule of law when dealing with, among others, indigenous people at grassroots level within communities, those suspected of terrorism, including children recruited by the insurgents.

As a result, Correctional Services will adhere to human rights of the incarcerated people due to terrorism. The police and Correctional Service Officers from five districts of Cabo Delgado will undergo capacity building programmes of training of trainers in order to ultimately train the rest of the officers on knowledge and skills pertaining to among others, law enforcement/rule of law, human rights and community policing.

Youth empowerment includes skills training programmes that take care of restoration and preservation of the environment such as afforestation and agriculture for environmental sustainability. Youth and women will be subjected to training on knowledge and skills in order to build capacity on various developmental projects that could be undertaken in order to sustain themselves.

Civic leaders from areas affected by terrorism within Cabo Delgado have been identified for their participation in the dialogues to appreciate, among others, grievances of community members, conflict resolution models to be implemented and instituting social resilience mechanism in addressing conflicts.

The capacity building of Police and Correctional Services officers; women and youth empowerment workshops; and dialogue with civic leaders will be held in five districts of Cabo Delgado Province namely, Mocimboa da Praia; Palma; Quissanga; Macomia, and Muidumbe in July 2022.

SADC Secretariat, through the Directorate of the Organ, is the Overall Coordinator. Implementation of the programme involves the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC), Training of Trainers SADC Standby Force Roster Members, facilitators from SADC Member States, and the Mediation Reference Group (MRG).