Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defense and Security, on Tuesday called for joint action among member states of the regional bloc to decisively deal with the growing threat of terrorism.
Mnangagwa said this while opening a meeting of the SADC Organ Troika to discuss the deteriorating security situation in parts of Mozambique hit by an Islamic insurgency.
Leaders of Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique attended the one-day summit in the capital Harare, to consider Mozambique’s request for assistance against the insurgents.
President Edgar Lungu is attending in his capacity as the immediate-past chair of the organ while Botswana’s president Mokgweetsi Masisi is the incoming chairperson of the organ.
Mnangagwa said SADC countries, as in the past, must stand together to deal with the growing problem which had the potential to not only disturb peace but stunt growth and development in the region.
“It is imperative that we once more stand shoulder to shoulder and confront this and other challenges we may face working together in unity. We will yet again overcome,” he said.
He said successfully preventing and combating terrorism requires renewed and firm commitment from all SADC member states. “It also calls for enhanced joint action given the transnational nature of the terrorist groups,” he added.
Mnangagwa said the region strongly condemned all acts of terrorism that had seen the killing and kidnapping of civilians and destruction of infrastructure.
“Regions that previously did not perceive the seriousness of the threat or seemed immune to terrorism are being targeted by terrorists.
The threat is now becoming increasing complex, blaring boundaries between political, religious and ideological extremism and crime,” he said.