The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will meet on Thursday to deliberate on measures to address terrorism in Mozambique in an Extraordinary Double Troika Summit, the regional bloc said Tuesday.
The meeting will be held in Mozambique’s capital Maputo. Mozambique is the current chair of SADC.
The regional bloc held emergency talks in Harare to discuss the violence last week.
The bloc is concerned about the continued terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, as residents continue to suffer from the brutal assaults, it said in a statement.
Islamic State-linked militants launched attacks on the northeastern coastal town of Palma on March 24, ransacked buildings and beheaded civilians. Thousands of people fled into the surrounding forest and the attack has seen a surge in the number of refugees fleeing the violence in the area.
Known locally as Al-Shabaab – but with no relation to the Somali group of 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 violence has killed over 2,600 people, at least half of them civilians, and displaced close to 700,000.
The attack forced close to 10,000 people to flee, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Last week, the African Union called for urgent and coordinated international action following the attack on Palma.
In a statement, AU chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said he “condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks.”
The Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit is also scheduled for Thursday while the supporting Technical meetings are due Wednesday.
“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,” Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said.
Masisi is also the SADC Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
The SADC Summit is the overall policy-making institution of SADC, and it is managed on a Troika system that comprises the current SADC Chairperson, the incoming Chairperson and the immediate previous Chairpersons.
The SADC Double Troika comprises of the SADC Troika Member States.
Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania comprise SADC Troika Member States while Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe belong to the Organ Troika Member States.