HARARE – Leaders in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have committed their support to the government of Mozambique to combat the ongoing attacks by a terrorist organisation with possible links to ISIS.
Heads of state from several countries in the region met virtually on Monday for the 40th Ordinary Summit of SADC.
However, nothing was mentioned of Zimbabwe which has been rocked by protests, amid growing reports of human rights violations.
Deliberating on security, the summit received an assessment report on emerging security threats in the region, according to a statement.
It directed the secretariat to prepare an action plan for its implementation, that will, among others, prioritise measures to combat terrorism, violent attacks and cybercrime.
“(The) summit welcomed the decision by the Government of the Republic of Mozambique to bring to the attention of SADC the violent attacks situation in the country and commended the country for its continued efforts towards combating terrorism and violent attacks. The summit expressed SADC solidarity and commitment to support Mozambique in addressing the terrorism and violent attacks, and condemned all acts of terrorism and armed attacks,” the statement read.
Attacks in Mozambique have mostly occurred in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost province of country.
News24 reported in July, that ISIS had warned South Africa that it would “open the fighting front” within South Africa’s borders, should it get involved in the situation in Mozambique.
The warning was posted on ISIS’ latest newsletter, Al-Naba.
An organisation linked to ISIS, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah, had been waging a violent insurgency in Cabo Delgado.
It started in 2017, but the violence escalated in recent months. They want to establish an extremist form of Islamic law in the province, even though their motives have been questioned by some, as more compelled by greed.
The summit also reiterated its position on the reconfiguration of the Force Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
It emphasised that the FIB should not be tampered with and expressed gratitude to troops deployed in the DRC.
A progress report on the political and security situation in the Kingdom of Lesotho was also received.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, the SADC facilitator to Lesotho, presented his report on the situation in the country.
The summit commended Lesotho for the smooth and peaceful transition of power.