March 17, 2021
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an umbrella body of civic society organizations operating in Zimbabwe, is appalled by the apparent lack of action on the part of the Southern African Development Community with regards the crisis in the Northern part of Mozambique which is a threat to regional stability.
On November 11, 2020, we issued a statement condemning the cruel and inhumane actions by the Islamist militants who beheaded more than 50 people in the village of Aldeia da Paz outside Macomia in Northern Mozambique.
On November 27, 2020 the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security convened an extra-ordinary meeting in Botswana on the Mozambican crisis and this was followed by another meeting held on December 14, 2020 in Mozambique.
The December 2020 meeting resolved that there would be a second extra ordinary meeting on Mozambique to be held in January 2021.
As it stands, the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security has apparently failed to act while the crisis in Northern Mozambique continues to unfold.
The Cabo Delgado civil war in Northern Mozambique has since 2017 led to the displacement of around 670 000 people while more than 2 600 people have lost their lives and around one million people are in urgent need of food aid.
We reiterate our position that the Islamist insurgency in the northern part of Mozambique is a call for collective action by SADC and the African Union (AU).
The insurgency is indeed a threat to human security not only in Mozambique but the rest of the SADC region hence the need for a collective approach by SADC and the AU in dealing with the insurgents.
Mozambique is a signatory to the African Union Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism (1999) and is also part of the SADC regional strategy on countering terrorism developed in 2015 and this allows for support to the Mozambican government in dealing with the Islamist insurgency.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition implores SADC to urgently formulate a crisis response plan on Mozambique and invoke Article 6(1) of the SADC Mutual Defence Pact which considers an armed attack against a member state as a threat to regional security.
Military deployment to assist Mozambican and Tanzanian security forces in dealing with the Islamist insurgents remains a viable option in light of the threats to regional stability.
In line with our regional solidarity strategy, we will be convening a special Civic Society Organizations Regional Summit to discuss the Mozambican crisis and other troubled spots in the SADC region.