The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has agreed to send troops to Mozambique to help fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province.
Presidents and Heads of Government from the SADC region, including President Lazarus Chakwera, made the decision on Wednesday during the Extraordinary Summit held at Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre in Mozambique.
“Summit endorsed the recommendations of the Report of the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation and approved the Mandate for the SADC Standby Force Mission to the Republic of Mozambique, to be deployed in support of Mozambique to combat of terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado,” reads part of a communique released after the meeting.
The 16-member regional bloc, however, did not provide details on how many peacekeepers will be sent to Mozambique where about 3,000 people have been killed and almost 800,000 have been forced to flee their homes in Cabo Delgado province since 2017.
SADC Member states in collaboration with Humanitarian Agencies have since been urged to continue providing humanitarian support to the population affected by the terrorist attacks, in Cabo Delgado, including the internally displaced persons.
On COVID-19, the summit called upon the World Trade Organization (WTO) to finalize negotiations on the waiver of certain provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and expedite its operationalization. The leaders believe this will enable more countries to produce COVID-19 vaccine and facilitate access to all.
SADC leaders also called for the end of vaccine nationalism and for equal access to vaccine by all countries.
Countries that limit SADC residents to travel to their countries based on origin and type of vaccine they received, were also urged to reconsider their positions.
In his keynote address during the summit, President Chakwera thanked His Excellency Filipe Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique and the current SADC Chairperson, for successfully leading the regional block in his tenure.
He further commended the Region for remaining united and collaborating closely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure that trade, movement of goods, services and people are not disrupted.
Malawi will from August this year assume the SADC Chairmanship and will host the 41st SADC Summit in hybrid form in Lilongwe.