Community Development Politics

Go beyond military intervention to prioritise restoration of humanity, livelihood: SADC urged

His Excellency Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) appreciates the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s military intervention in assisting the Mozambican government to deal with the insurgents but made a call to the regional body to prioritize humanitarian intervention, restoration of livelihoods as well as reintegration of societies affected by the insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province.

The call comes when on April 29, 2021, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will convene an Extraordinary Troika Summit of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to deliberate on the continued insurgency in Mozambique.

The meeting follows the SADC Extraordinary Double Troika Summit held on April 8, 2021, which resolved to deploy a technical assessment team to Mozambique.

“As the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an umbrella body of civic society organisations operating in Zimbabwe and chair of the Human Rights and Governance cluster of the Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network, we appreciate the regional response to the Mozambican conflict which has claimed more than 3 000 lives and left around 700 000 people displaced while a further 1.3 million civilians have been left in urgent need of humanitarian aid,” CiZC said.

Since November 2020, the coalition has made passionate calls for SADC to intervene in resolving the Mozambican conflict and in March 2021 a delegation of Crisis Coalition members met with Frelimo, civil society and church groups in Mozambique to discuss the Cabo Delgado conflict.

There was a consensus during the meetings that there is an urgent need for SADC to intervene in the Cabo Delgado conflict.

The coalition underscored the fact that in as much as it appreciates military intervention in assisting the Mozambican government deal with the insurgents, it is making a passionate call to SADC to prioritize humanitarian intervention, restoration of livelihoods as well as reintegration of societies affected by the insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province.

In the same vein, it urged SADC to consider setting up a coordinated humanitarian fund to assist Mozambicans in need of humanitarian assistance.

The coalition argued that SADC intervention in Mozambique should also be anchored on ensuring restoration of human rights and protection of civilians.

“Security forces should be trained to protect civilians under threat from the insurgents in Mozambique and this should be in accordance with internationally accepted human rights standards. Social and economic justice (equitable distribution of natural resources) should also form part of the SADC discussions on Mozambique.

“Taking from the Extraordinary SADC People’s Summit hosted by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network on April 8, 2021, we reiterate that the armed conflict in Mozambique has its roots in unfair distribution of natural resources. It is our expectation that SADC, as part of its crisis response plan, will take into consideration the above submissions as part of efforts to bring lasting peace to Mozambique,” CiZC added.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende