Diplomats representing Portuguese-speaking countries in SA are hopeful President Cyril Ramaphosa will be able to mobilise the Southern African Development Community (SADC) into finding a solution to the terrorism-fuelled conflict in northern Mozambique.
Ramaphosa flew to Maputo yesterday for the Extraordinary Summit of SADC heads of state and government where the conflict is the only item on the agenda.
The Lusophone diplomatic community in Pretoria is hopeful the SA experience in crafting the settlement which brought apartheid to an end – and in which Ramaphosa was a major player – will inspire the Mozambique discussions.
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The Alliance Political Councils (APC) comprising the top six of the governing ANC, Cosatu and the SA Communist Party implored Ramaphosa to act.
“Where possible South Africa should support the initiatives of the double troika of the SADC to restore stability to Mozambique and prevent an escalation of the destabilisation of Mozambique in the region,” said a joint APC statement.
There is a general belief within the ANC that any conflict at any of the neighbouring countries was bound to negatively affect SA economically and politically.
As demonstrated in the never-ending border-jumping involving undocumented Zimbabwean immigrants, there was fear of an immigration crisis and saturation of the SA economy by foreigners.
The Presidency said the summit would consider the SADC regional response and support to Mozambique to address the terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado.
When asked by journalists in Cape Town recently, Ramaphosa declined to reveal the strategies for dealing with the situation, adding that the matter was sensitive and any statement could jeopardise the plan.
While Cabo Delgado has hogged the news headlines, the conflict had affected other provinces such as Nampula, Zambezia, Sofala and Niassa – resulting in the displacement of over 700 000 people.