Local Civic Society Organisations (CSOs) have applauded the move by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to convene an Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit to discuss emerging peace and security issues in the region.
The meeting follows an outcry over developments in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region where civilians have been killed by Islamists insurgency. Various quarters in the region including local CSOs have been clamouring for action from the regional body.
In a statement, the CSOs urged SADC to invoke Article 6(1) of the SADC Mutual Defence Pact which calls for an armed attack.
“The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), an umbrella body of civic society organisations in Zimbabwe, commends the move by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to convene an Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit to discuss emerging peace and security issues in the region.
“More importantly, we urge SADC to 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.
“As Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, we also commend the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by Mozambique and Tanzania to fight the Islamist insurgency. Military intervention in Mozambique remains a viable option for the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security,” said CiZC
The coalition called on the regional body to prioritize humanitarian assistance to those displaced since the beginning of the civil war in 2017
“We further urge SADC to prioritize humanitarian assistance for the more than 300 000 people who have been displaced since the Cabo Delgado civil war started in 2017.
“It is also incumbent upon SADC to maintain and strengthen its peace initiative foot print under the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission (also known as MONUSCO) in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in light of the continued conflict which has led to loss of lives and livelihoods, displacements, food insecurity, looting of mineral resources and other gross human rights violations,” said the coalition
CiZC added “The Islamist insurgency in the northern part of Mozambique, also referred to as the Cabo Delgado civil war is indeed a threat to human security not only in Mozambique but the rest of the SADC region hence the need for intervention by SADC.
“Damage to infrastructure has also affected livelihoods while internal displacements have the potential to accelerate the spread of COVID 19 given the fact that the Cabo Delgado region has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Mozambique.”
The SADC meeting will be held in Gaborone, Botswana on November 27, 2020.