The acts of terrorism in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region do not only affect the Republic of Mozambique, but are detrimental to the unity and solidarity the Region has enjoyed over the years and it is therefore critical to neutralise the enemy as a unit and a collective force.
This was said by the High Commissioner the Republic of Malawi to the Republic of Mozambique and Chairperson of the SADC Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Mozambique, Her Excellency Ambassador Wezi Moyo.
Amb. Moyo said this during a three-day visit by the SADC Ambassadors based in Maputo, Mozambique to Pemba in Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique from 1st to 3rd March 2022.
The envoys’ mission was aimed to offer moral support and appreciation of operations of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) which is fighting against acts of terrorism and violent extremism. The ambassadors also wanted to assess and appraise the humanitarian situation in shelters setup for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Amb. Moyo underscored that the visit was as a result of the resolutions of the SADC Troika Summit in Pretoria in 2021 which, among others, agreed that the Heads of State and Government should undertake a visit to Pemba to not only experience the operations of the troops but to further appraise the humanitarian situation.
The Ambassadors were to assess the situation at first hand to enable a clear assessment and pave way for the imminent visit by Heads of State and Government.
Amb. Moyo applauded the efforts made by the Republic of Mozambique together with many other cooperation partners and the SADC Region in resettling over 850 000 displayed people, underscoring a number of efforts which were put in place to integrate the IDPs back into the fold.
Head of SAMIM and Special Representative to the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Professor Mpho G. Molomo gave an overview of the operations of the Mission, highlighting the commitments and willingness by SADC to deploy the Standby Forces and working with the Mozambican defence forces, Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique (FADM), and Rwanda troops, as a testimony to the assurances and ideals of regional integration and Pan Africanism. He emphasised the need to expand the operations and commit more resources to support the mission in all aspects and through means which will aid in finding, fixing, neutralising and degrading terrorists.
He also shared a number of key initiatives which were envisioned to stabilise the affected communities, highlighting necessary measures such as restoration of physical infrastructure, rule of law, social capacity as well as programmes which will offer an inclusive and sustainable future for the people of Cabo Delgado.
He pointed out that the intent of the mission was to expeditiously degrade and weaken the terrorists so that it will be impossible for them to regroup to further destabilise more targets.
The Acting Governor of Cabo Delgado, H.E Mr. Alvaro Floriano G. Junior, conveyed his message of gratitude to SADC, noting the unwavering support which demonstrated commitment to creating strong foundations to stabilise the Region particularly the Cabo Delgado province which was under siege from terrorists and violent extremists.
The Governor appealed to the entire population of Cabo Delgado to seek and recognise, cherish and support the sacrifices by the SADC contingents and all those involved in the fight against terrorism, as it represents a spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance with the sole objective of defending territorial ground.
A number of presenters from the military shared insights on the status of the operations by the troops highlighting the challenges and successes since the mission was launched on 9th August 2021. The Ambassadors paid homage to the seven gallant soldiers who lost their lives in line of duty.
The Ambassadors visited and interacted with IDPs to appraise their situation and conditions of living and offered messages of unity and solidarity to fellow brothers and sisters in villages of Ancuabe-Najua and Metuge. The dignitaries visited the SAMIM forward bases in Mocimboa, Afungi, Palma, Nangade, Mueda and Macomia which are key in providing support to the strategic goals and tactical objectives of the mission.
The SADC envoys also handed over donations of 50 bags of rice, 200 litres of cooking oil and boxes of washing powders to the Instituto Nacional de Gestão e Redução do Riscos de Desastre (INGD) of Mozambique to offer humanitarian relief and support to IDPs. The donations came as a goodwill from the envoys through their personnel pledges in support to the humanitarian relief efforts.
Among the group of ambassadors were Director of Regional and Continental Integration for the Republic of Mozambique and the SADC National Contact Point for Mozambique, Ambassador Carlos da Costa; High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa to Mozambique, H.E General (Retired) Siphiwe Nyanda; High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana to Mozambique, H.E Mr. Gobe Pitso; High Commissioner of the Republic of Zimbabwe to Mozambique, H.E Mr. Victor Matemadanda; Acting Secretary of State of Cabo Delgado, Mr. Dario Sidonio Passo and representatives for Angola, Eswatini, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia as well as military leadership from the SADC Member States Personnel Contributing Countries.