The Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of states are expected to meet this week to discuss the region’s mission in Mozambique.
Heads of states from South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia and Mozambique will review the progress and mandate of the SADC mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) at an extraordinary summit scheduled for this week.
SAMIM was deployed to the troubled Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique in July last year to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism.
In his capacity as SADC chairperson, Malawi President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera will chair the extraordinary summit.
Before the extraordinary summit, President Cyril Ramaposa and chairperson of the fabric organ on politics defence and security cooperation is expected to convene a special SADC organ troika summit, comprising SADC heads of state.
The summit will deliberate on support for the effective operation of SAMIM objectives to bring peace and stability to the Cabo Delgado region.
The insurgency began about three years ago and has killed over 3,000 people and displaced nearly 800,000 people in the northern Mozambican province.
Cabo Delgado is one of the poorest regions in the country, ranked in the bottom 15 countries in the UN Human Development Index for poverty over the past 10 years.
In March 2021, insurgents attacked the coastal town of Palma, killing dozens of people and triggering an exodus that included employees from the Total project, forcing the company to halt work on a $20-billion natural gas project.
Rwanda and southern African regional forces deployed to support the Mozambican military in July.
Last month, a South African soldier died during an insurgent ambush during operations in Cabo Delgado.