A decision on whether to extend the mandate of SADC Mission in Mozambique is expected on Tuesday. The regional bloc’s Troika on Politics, Defence and Security is currently meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi, regarding the future on the standby force deployed to fight terrorism in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region.

The current mandate expires on January 15th. The  SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) – comprising mostly of soldiers from South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana – is facing many challenges including a lack of resources and financial support.

Troika chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa, speaking in Lilongwe, says today’s decision will be communicated on Wednesday.

“We cannot let our guard down. Terrorism cannot be permitted to continue to thrive in any part of our region as its presence will reverse the stability and progress SADC has achieved in its four decades of existence. Our meeting today must indicate a strengthened commitment to defeat and uproot terrorism from our region.”

President Ramaphosa says terrorism cannot be permitted to continue to thrive in any part of the SADC region, arguing that its presence will reverse the stability and progress SADC has achieved in its four decades of existence.

In his capacity as SADC organ chair on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Ramaphosa says significant progress had been made on the ground to tackle terrorism in Cabo Delgado.

Leaders to review SADC mission in Mozambique’s troubled Cabo Delgado:

SADC leaders are meeting, almost six months after they approved the deployment of the mission in the northern part of Mozambique.

“We are cognizant of the magnitude of ground that still needs to be covered in the work of SAMIM. Therefore we cannot let our guard down and terrorism cannot be permitted to continue to thrive in any part of our region,” says Ramaphosa.

The SADC meeting comes after Mozambique and Rwanda expanded their cooperation in combating insurgency.

The South African President says acts of terrorism have led to the loss of lives, property and displacement of people. Unfortunately, some countries have also lost troops in the battle line in Cabo Delgado.

“We are saddened by the casualties suffered by SAMIM and the Mozambican defence force. I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the government of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa for the demise of our brave sons who were lost in the line of duty,” Ramaphosa adds.

Meanwhile, the leaders of SADC countries who have contributed troops will hand over a report to their counterparts from the regional bloc who will attend the final meeting on Wednesday.  -Additional reporting by Noma Bolani