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Sadc to hold summit on Mozambique’s Islamist insurgency in January

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Sadc heads of state and government will hold an extraordinary summit in January to discuss the security situation in  Mozambique as Islamist insurgency escalates. 

 This decision came out of what was billed as a SADC “High Level Consultative Meeting” held in Maputo on Monday. The meeting was also a follow-up to the summit of the SADC Defence and Security Troika, held in Gaborone on 27 November. 

This comes after Mozambique’s government appealed for international help to curb the insurgency, saying its troops need specialised training.

Aid groups in northern Mozambique say attacks on civilians have displaced close to 400,000 people during three years of Islamist terrorism.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi called the high level meeting, and in attendance were the three members of the troika. They are its chairperson, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, and the Presidents of South Africa and Zimbabwe, Cyril Ramaphosa and Emmerson Mnangagwa. The Deputy President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu, was also present. 

The meeting agreed that a second extraordinary SADC summit should be held in South Africa, on a date yet to be decided, to agree on a regional strategy for acquiring and distributing vaccines against the Covid-19 respiratory disease. 

The meeting also discussed regional economic cooperation, particularly the revitalisation of the Mozambican rail corridors based on the ports of Nacala, Beira and Maputo, as well as the project to build a new deep water mineral port at Techobanine, in the far south of Mozambique. 

The leaders reaffirmed that the normal SADC heads of state summit and the SADC Business Forum will be held in Maputo in March 2021.—Staff Writer

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