The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chair and Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera says the region must not just neutralize terrorists in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, but there must be a comprehensive plan to rebuild the northern part of the country.

Addressing the SADC Heads of state meeting in Malawi to deal with terrorism and violent extremism in Mozambique, Chakwera has thrown his weight behind plans to rebuild Cabo Delgado.

He says this is critical in ensuring that people affected by terrorism are assisted in Mozambique.

“What remains now is for us to stay the course, stick together and we cannot regress and we cannot retreat and our approach must be multidimensional and comprehensive, focused and we need to have a post-conflict plan to rebuild and I’m grateful for the leadership of president Jacinto Filipe Nyusi and the government of Mozambique for launching comprehensive Cabo Delgado reconstruction plan,” says President Chakwera.

The leaders have also decided to extend the regional bloc’s mission in Mozambique.

Prior to the final meeting of SADC Heads of state, President Cyril Ramaphosa, who heads the regional bloc organ on politics, defence and security cooperation, indicated that terrorism must not be permitted to thrive in the region.

SADC says it wants peace and stability to prevail across all member states.

“This extraordinary summit provides the overall direction to combat terrorism in Cabo Delgado and curtail any potential spillage in this region and we fully understand we are in the emergency,” says SADC Executive Secretary Elias Magosi.

It’s been almost six months since SADC deployed its mission to repel the terror activities in Mozambique. Leaders say they are committed to dealing with the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism.

VIDEO: President Ramaphosa on terrorism in the SADC region: