The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will not tolerate terrorism, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.
He was opening the Extraordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community Organ Troika plus the Republic of Mozambique in Pretoria.
Ramaphosa chairs the summit in his capacity as chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
The summit will receive a progress report on the operations of the SADC mission to Mozambique to stave of terror attacks in the country’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado and consider a way forward.
Ramaphosa said the deployment started on 15 July and was due to end on 15 October. There is an option to extend the deployment.
He said Mozambique would also provide a report to the summit on progress made, and would highlight the challenges experienced.
Ramaphosa said the insurgency had “the potential to affect the stability of the region and our people’s lives”.
But he added that he was “confident security in Mozambique will be restored”. He thanked the SADC countries that had provided support to the mission.
“These acts of terrorism and insurgency have disrupted ordinary people’s lives.”
Ramaphosa added that the SADC would always be prepared to support countries in the region.
“Through acting the way we are now, we’re making it clear, as a region, we will not tolerate acts of terrorism targeted against our people in any country in the region. The SADC will act as one.”
Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Namibian President Hage Geingob and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi are all attending the summit.
Since 2017, a jihadist organisation called Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah has been waging a violent insurgency in Cabo Delgado. Last year, the violence escalated.
In June, a SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments held in Maputo approved a regional mission to assist Mozambique.
South Africa deployed 1 495 South African National Defence Force members to the mission.