ZANU PF yesterday appealed to SADC and the African Union (AU) to swiftly intervene in Mozambique and repel Islamic State (IS) linked insurgents in the northern parts of the country, who are increasingly gaining a foothold.
Addressing a Press conference at the party headquarters in Harare, Zanu PF acting spokesperson Cde Patrick Chinamasa said SADC and the AU, chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa cannot continue to ignore the plight of Mozambicans who are under attack.
“The continued killing and displacement of Mozambicans is to Zanu PF cause for real and grave indignation. To underline the magnitude of challenges confronting Mozambique, President Nyusi has already sought the support of SADC, to repel the insurgency. But despite the clear and worrying threat, SADC is yet to take a position on whether or not to deploy a SADC support military force,” he said.
And with the insurgents recently capturing Mocimboa da Praia, the gateway to a multi-billion offshore liquefied natural gas project in northern Mozambique, Cde Chinamasa said there is need for a swift response as the terrorists are becoming more sophisticated and will, if unchecked, be difficult to contain.
“Zanu PF contends and feels that Mozambique should not be expected to deal with a potential regional security threat of this gravity and magnitude alone. As a member of SADC and the AU, Mozambique should have recourse to regional and collective support.
“Clearly, SADC may be constrained, but there is an urgent need to support Mozambique. Without coherent continental counter terrorism strategy or regional assistance, the odds are stacked against the Mozambican military,” said Cde Chinamasa.
An array of SADC legal instruments, provide the regional body to come to the aid of a distressed nation, as is the case with Mozambique, where insurgents have killed hundreds of civilians and displaced tens of thousands.
“Zanu PF hereby appeals to SADC to invoke Article 6(1) of the SADC Mutual Defence Pact and implement its 2015 counter-terrorism strategy to help combat the insurgency in northern Mozambique and prevent a spill over into the region,” said Cde Chinamasa.
Apart from dispatching a military team, the region should also consider sending a fact finding mission to Cabo Delgado, the troubled region, to determine the extent of the crisis and humanitarian needs of the population, Cde Chinamasa said.
“Zanu PF hereby appeals to the AU through President Cyril Ramaphosa to engage with SADC to strengthen its efforts in Mozambique and also place the security situation in northern Mozambique on the monthly agenda of the Peace and Security Council of the AU.
“Zanu PF strongly feels that President Ramaphosa as chair of the AU for 2020 and a SADC member state and the South African government are well placed to spearhead these efforts.”