South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa has said acts of terrorism cannot be permitted to thrive in Southern African Development Community (Sadc) member states.
Ramaphosa said this in Lilongwe Tuesday at the start of the Extraordinary Troika Summit for the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
The Troika summit preceded the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government for Sadc, which takes place in Lilongwe today.
He said terrorism would reverse gains Sadc had made in its four decades of existence.
Ramaphosa, who is chairperson for the organ, said since Sadc deployed the Sadc Mission to Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province, the security situation in that area had improved.
According to Ramaphosa, the improved security situation has given some internally displaced persons a chance to return to their homes.
“The efforts of our mission, working in collaboration with the Mozambican Defence Force, have created safe passage to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to the population affected by terrorist activities.
“I wish to express appreciation and commend the work of the Sadc Mission in Mozambique on the ground. I equally appreciate and commend member states who have supported this work financially and through the deployment of personnel and equipment,” Ramaphosa said.
Sadc Executive Security Elias Magosi said the Sadc Mission in Mozambique had a mandate to support the Republic of Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado.
He said it could do this by neutralising the terrorist threat and restoring security to create a secure environment, strengthening peace and maintaining security as well as restoring law and order in affected areas of Cabo Delgado Province.
“While significant progress has been made since the deployment, our mission faces several challenges to fulfil its Mandate. They are looking up to the leadership for support for them to succeed in their mission of securing peace and stability.
“I have no doubt that this meeting will shape the direction the mission should take and [put in place] required measures to continue supporting and enabling the mission,” Magosi said.
The Troika summit was attended by President Lazarus Chakwera, Ramaphosa, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi and Botswana acting President Slumber Tsogwane.