Terrorism, Covid-19 to feature in SADC leaders’ meeting in Maputo

Monday June 21 2021
Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi who will chair the extraordinary SADC summit in Maputo on June 23, 2021. PHOTO | POOL | AFP


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will on Wednesday hold an extraordinary summit of heads of state and government meet in Mozambique’s capital Maputo.

The meeting will discuss issues regarding regional integration, cooperation and development.

Before the summit, a meeting of the SADC standing committee of senior officials will be held on Monday and on Tuesday, a meeting of the SADC council of ministers will take place.

“Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi will chair the Extraordinary Summit in his capacity as the current chairperson of SADC,” the block said Sunday in a statement.

The summit will, among the key issues, discuss the regional response and support to Mozambique in addressing terrorism, regional food and nutrition security, gender and development, and progress in the region’s response to HIV/Aids and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cabo Delgado attacks


Mozambique is facing an insurgency in northern Cabo Delgado province that borders Tanzania.

The northern province has a population of 1,893,156 spread over its 77,867km² in 16 districts.

The attacks began in October 2017 on police stations in Mocimboa da Praia District, then spread to other districts in the northern part of Cabo Delgado, notably in Macomia, Palma and Nangade.

Islamic State-linked militants launched attacks on the north eastern coastal town of Palma on March 24, ransacked buildings and beheaded civilians.

Known locally as Al-Shabaab — but with no relation to the Somali-based terror group by the same name — the militants in Cabo Delgado have launched a series of brazen raids on towns and villages in an apparent bid to establish an Islamic caliphate.

The opening and closing ceremonies of the SADC summit will be broadcast live by Mozambique’s state-owned Televisão de Moçambique (TVM).

SADC member states are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho and Madagascar.

Others are Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Mourning Kaunda

Mozambique and several SADC member states have declared days of national mourning in honour of the late first President of the Republic of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, who died on Thursday last week.

Dr Kaunda played a pivotal role in the formation of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), the forerunner to SADC. The SADC flag and those of SADC member states will be flown at half-mast during the extraordinary summit in Maputo and the preceding meetings.