EDITORIAL | Too late for neighbours to start caring about Moz now
Soon the ripple effects of both Mozambique’s and the SADC’s careless attitudes will be felt
The situation in northern Mozambique is out of control. Three weeks ago, insurgents wreaked havoc on the town of Palma in the northern Cabo Delgado province, burning down buildings, shooting at cars and randomly beheading people. Aid agencies say tens of thousands were displaced. Families fled with only the clothes on their backs, hiding for days in the bushes. Refugees are said to be streaming across the border to Tanzania. It is all happening on our doorstep – and has been happening on our doorstep for the past four years. Yet our regional leaders would rather not know about it.
It took the Southern African Development Community (SADC) at least two weeks to convene to discuss the insurgency. And what was the resolution? It directed a “fact-finding mission” to travel to Mozambique “immediately” and then report back at the end of the month. No sense of urgency here.
That’s not the only outcome of the SADC meeting. The leaders, including Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, in his capacity as chair of the SADC organ on politics, defence and security, and our own President Cyril Ramaphosa, also in a statement, “condemned the terrorist attacks in strongest terms and affirmed that such heinous attacks cannot be allowed to continue without a proportionate regional response”...