SADC Organ Troika Summit deliberates on security situation in the region

Mokgweetsi Masisi

We have come to a successful conclusion of our very important Extraordinary SADC Organ Troika Summit, plus the Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Mozambique.

I am pleased to note that the outcome of our meeting is filled with promise and optimism. In this regard, I wish to thank you, once again, for your demonstrated spirit of unity and resolve to ensure that our region remains peaceful, stable, secure and prosperous.

That you have all come here in person, speaks to the importance you attach to the SADC ideals. I am therefore confident that this expression of commitment towards finding solutions to the problems afflicting our region, will go a long way in ensuring that SADC continues to lead in terms of regional integration and socioeconomic development.

I hope you will all agree with me that this meeting was opportune as it provided a platform for us to interact and reflect on the prevailing security situation in our region. We also benefitted from the excellent work done by the State Security Sub Committee and the Report they produced on the Threats of Terrorism and Violent Extremism.

It emerged from our deliberations that in order for the Organ to fulfil its core mandate of sustaining peace and security and promoting democracy in the region, it has to play a central role in addressing the structural causes of conflict. These include the socio-economic threats, as well as the root-causes of terrorism and violent extremism.

Our discussions, therefore, also focused on the numerous challenges that our countries are facing and the measures that must be undertaken to address them. Of particular importance was the realization that incidents of terrorism are increasing in our region. To this end, the Summit came up with a number of recommendations on how Member States could deal with this eminent threat, including our commitment to the SADC Mutual Defence Pact.

Other practical and incremental steps that we agreed on include expediting the establishment of the SADC Regional Counter Terrorism Centre (SADC - RCTC); as well as enhancing dedicated national counter-terrorism coordination structures. These include our cyber-security response capacity and improving multilateral cooperation to detect, investigate, identify and combat radicalism and violent extremism.

The Summit also deliberated on the Strategy on the Progressive and Phased Drawdown of United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO). We agreed to maintain our full support to the DRC, even post the United Nations withdrawal from the country. This is because the ultimate objective of SADC’s involvement in the DRC is to assist the country to achieve sustainable peace and security, as well as to create an environment conducive for regional integration and socioeconomic development.

In the overall, I can confidently say that the Summit reinvigorated our conviction to rid our region of conflict and terrorism, so as to ensure that the years ahead are better, brighter and more prosperous for all our peoples.

*President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, gave the closing remarks at the SADC Organ Troika SADC Summit, plus the Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Mozambique held in Gaborone on Friday.

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