South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday that peace was returning to northern Mozambique following the military intervention by countries in the southern region to combat violent extremism in Cabo Delgado province.
“The pleasing thing is that the people who fled the various areas of Cabo Delgado are now returning to their homes, with increased confidence that SADC has helped them bring peace,” Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement released by the Presidency.
The South African head of state, who concluded an official visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRCongo), where he took part this week in the 42nd summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said the regional bloc “is also satisfied” with the progress announced in the fight against insurgency in the northern region of the neighbouring country.
In this regard, Ramaphosa added that the SADC had reaffirmed its “total commitment to support the people of Mozambique.
The South African president also said he was “satisfied” with the progress made by SADC in setting up a logistics centre in Botswana “that will help countries in the region deal with emergencies” and with “the progress made in the counter-terrorism centre in Tanzania.
“We will be able to implement the various assistance measures when there are situations where our armed forces need to intervene, so there must be a good logistical depot or where there are other forms of emergency,” Ramaphosa said about the logistics centre in Botswana.
At the SADC heads of state and government meeting in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, Namibia’s President Hage Geingob received from his South African counterpart the chairmanship of the Body on Cooperation in Politics, Defence and Security, which Ramaphosa led in a year of containment against the Covid-19 pandemic.
At least nine personnel deployed in the SADC military force in Mozambique (SAMIM) died fighting in Cabo Delgado province, according to Pretoria’s final communiqué of the regional summit meeting released today.