International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor says South Africa will continue to champion for peace and security. She was addressing the end-of-the-year media briefing on Tuesday.
She says Southern African Development Community (SADC) is very concerned about the situation in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique as the neighbouring country battles insurgency.
Rwandan and Southern African forces are assisting the Mozambique army to battle an ISIS-linked insurgency in the area. A major gas project has been shelved because of the insecurity in the area.
The regional bloc has since extended the mandate of its mission there. Pandor says the immediate priority for the SADC region is the resettlement of displaced people in the northern part of Mozambique, in the Cabo Delgado province.
SADC has since extended its mission’s work to restore peace and stability in the area that has been hit by violent extremism and terrorism.
“The SADC region remains unwavering in its commitment to helping the Republic of Mozambique to achieve peace and our leaders want lasting peace in the region. In August this year, we assumed the role of chair and we will continue to support efforts to ensure that there is rule of law.”
Minister Dr. Naledi Pandor holds end-of-year media briefing:
On other key international issues, Pandor has once again denounced the corrosive travel ban implemented on South Africa and neighbouring countries, saying such a move has inflicted harm on regional economies – after the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
“What is of concern to us is that we now know Omicron had been present in so many countries that banned us. They ignored science and they have thus imposed the terrible apartheid ban.”
Pretoria’s top diplomat has also reaffirmed South Africa’s position on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
“We believe the Palestinian question remains at the heart of instability in the Middle East. You need comprehensive and unconditional settlement and end Israel blockade.”
Minister Pandor says they are very concerned about the situation in Ethiopia. She says Pretoria will always advocate for peace and called on warring parties to negotiate in Ethiopia, the home of the African Union headquarters.
Pretoria is also keeping a close eye on the Kingdom of Lesotho and wants the current impasse in the kingdom of Eswatini to end.