Masisi aims to use SADC Chairmanship to ‘achieve lasting peace in southern Africa’

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi (front) speaks at a past function. /VCG
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi (front) speaks at a past function. /VCG

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has dedicated his term as Chair of the chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to achieving lasting peace and stability in the region.

Masisis is currently in Maputo, Mozambique for the Extra Ordinary Troika Summit and the Extra Ordinary Double Troika, following deadly terrorist attacks in the country’s northeastern town of Palma.

He said “the attacks in Mozambique were an affront to peace and security, not only in Mozambique, but also in the region and the international community as a whole.”

The Botswana leader is joined by other regional leaders for discussions aimed at enhancing security in Mozambique by ensuring a coordinated response and humanitarian support.

Dozens of civilians were killed and at least 11,000 displaced after the militants invaded Palma on 24 March.

The attack was considered to be one of the biggest staged by the militants in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province since they launched an insurgency in the region in 2017.

The country’s military managed to retake the town from the militants more than a week after the attack. A spokesperson said a “significant” number of militants were killed in the counter-offensive.

Ahead of Thursday’s Summit in Maputo, SADC said in a statement it is “deeply concerned about the continued terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, especially for the lives and welfare of the residents who continue to suffer from the atrocious, brutal and indiscriminate assaults.”