President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in Malawi to attend SADC’s Extraordinary Summit. GCIS

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa says that since the deployment of the SADC Mission in Mozambique, significant progress has been made and the security situation in Cabo Delgado has dramatically improving.

Ramaphosa was addressing SADC’s Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit in Lilongwe, Malawi, which is currently reviewing the progress of the SADC mission in Mozambique where soldiers were deployed to support combatting terrorism and violence in the country. 

He is participating in the summit as chairperson of the SADC organ on politics, defence and security cooperation.

“The efforts of our Mission, working in collaboration with the Mozambican Defence Force, has created safe passage to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to the population affected by terrorist activities,” said Ramaphosa.

“I wish to express appreciation and commend the work of SAMIM on the ground. I equally appreciate and commend member states who have supported this work financially and through the deployment of personnel and equipment.”

He told the SADC summit that while progress has been made in Mozambique, there have also been challenges.

“We are saddened by the casualties suffered by SAMIM and the Mozambican Defence Force. I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the Governments of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, the United Republic of Tanzania, and my Government, South Africa, for the demise of our brave sons, who were lost in the line of duty,” said Ramaphosa.

“SADC will forever cherish their service and contribution to peace and security in the region.”

The violence in Cabo Delgado has escalated in the past few months, offsetting major gas exploration projects and raising fears that it could spread to neighbouring countries.

According to the United Nations, the assault has driven around 800 000 people from their homes and claimed the lives of more than 2 800 people – half of them civilians.

Last year, Mozambique lodged an official request for military intervention from neighbouring countries to help quell a jihadist insurgency in the mineral-rich country.

Following this, Southern African countries agreed to deploy forces to Mozambique, where the government sent a signed “status of forces” agreement to the Southern African Development Community’s secretariat in Botswana.

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