The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is scheduled for a two-day extraordinary Troika Summit in Maputo to deliberate on measures to address terrorism in the host country, Mozambique.
According to a notification sent to member states, there will be a meeting of defence and security clusters from all member states on Thursday. These are drawn from the military, intelligence services and the police. That will be followed by a meeting of the commanders of the countries’ defence and security clusters.
The first day will be capped by a ministerial meeting of the troika composed of Foreign Affairs Ministers from Tanzania (SADC chair), Zimbabwe, SA, and Botswana.
Presidents of Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa will meet on the second day to deliberate on politics, defence and security. It will end with a meeting comprising all heads of member states.
The SADC meeting comes on the heels of concerted attacks by Islamic State-linked insurgents on the strategic town of Palma in Cabo Delgado province. The contract of retired former Zimbabwe Army Commander Lionel Dyck, director of the Dyck Advisory Group, a private military company contracted by the Mozambican police to help fight the rebels, expired on Tuesday.
Refugees International’s director of communications Sarah Sheffer noted that over the last year, the number of people displaced internally has skyrocketed from 70,000 to 700,000”.
Calling for increased aid relief in Mozambique, she urgged the international community to mobilise a swift response to the humanitarian crisis and for an end to the violence. Humanitarian actors are already stretched thin; the current humanitarian appeal for the Cabo Delgado emergency is only 1% funded. Donors must step up immediately to provide much-needed support”
In quick response, South Africa deployed soldiers to Mozambique last Friday to rescue its citizens, following reports that a citizen had been killed.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said they remain determined to secure the safety of their citizens in Pemba and Palma.
French energy giant Total shut down operations at its liquefied natural gas plant after withdrawing all staff from the region. Total’s intended investment of US$20 billion in projects located on the Afungi peninsula near Palma now hangs in the balance.