In coming Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) chair, President Lazarus Chakwera is likely to face the insurgency in Mozambique as his main challenge.
But speaking on Friday during the SADC extra-ordinary organ troika summit in Botswana, Chakwera has not said how he will help tackle the insurgency once he becomes the SADC chairperson.
The insurgency in north Mozambique by Islamists, threatens peace in neighbouring Tanzania and Malawi.
However, Chakwera assured SADC heads of states that Malawi remains committed to the cause of peace keeping and security in the region.
“Let me state unequivocally that Malawi remains committed to the FIB (Force Intervention Brigade) initiative of SADC, operating under MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo).
“Our commitment is not mere rhetoric, for even though Malawi’s contribution of troops to the FIB is down by 18 percent, a battalion of 700 of some of our finest soldiers remains deployed to this cause,” he said.
Chakwera highlighted the areas that Malawi was keen to support, which among others included, Malawi’s support for the SADC position on the establishment of Quick Reaction Forces (QRFs) under the Command Affiliation of the FIB Commander and Malawi supports for the SADC position on the attachment of staff officers from non-SADC TCCs to be on a permanent basis as an integral part of the FIB headquarters.
Southern African leaders agreed to come up with a comprehensive regional response to the armed insurgency in Mozambique which has triggered a humanitarian crisis amid a surge in internally displaced persons in the country.
The leaders agreed expressed continued SADC solidarity with the administration of President Filipe Nyusi.
“The Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit directed the finalization of a comprehensive regional response and support to the Republic of Mozambique to be considered urgently by the Summit,” the leaders said in a communique.
The SADC Organ meeting, which was chaired by Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, also discussed the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and pledged regional support to the development and implementation of the Joint Strategy on the Progressive and Phased Drawdown of MONUSCO in the DRC.
Approved in October, the strategy calls for a gradual withdrawal of United Nations peacekeepers from several regions of the DRC.
In addition to Chakwera and Masisi who chairs the SADC Organ, other leaders who attended Friday’s meeting are DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa AND Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
They were joined by Mozambique’s Defence Minister Jaime Neto and Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Hassan.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :