Lilongwe, August 16: Chairperson for the SADC Ministerial Committee of the organ on Politics, Defense and Security, Troika, Hon. Dr Lemogang Kwape says tremendous progress has been made in strengthening the SADC regional security.
Dr Kwape, who is Botswana’s Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, made the remarks on Monday at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe during the opening ceremony of the SADC Troika meeting ahead of the 41st meeting of the SADC Heads of State and Government starting on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
According to Kwape, recent deployment of the SADC Mission to Mozambique (SAMIM) to support the country fight terrorism and violent extremism in some parts of Cabo Delgado is one of the achievements made.
He also cited the progress in the implementation of recommendations of the Security Threats Assessment Report in the SADC Region as another notable feat the committee has registered in the past years.
“This Security Threats Assessment Report is very critical looking at the holistic picture of the threats hovering above this entire region that include terrorism, violent extremism and cybercrime,” said Kwape.
“It is encouraging to note that we have made significant progress in this area, as we have since approved the draft Costed Action Plan for the implementation of the report on the Assessment of Security Threats at our MCO Meeting in July 2021.
“Therefore, we will be presenting the draft Costed Action Plan for endorsement by our Heads of State and Government,” he explained.
Kwape has since commended member states for being ‘on the right track’ in consolidating democracy in their countries such as United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Seychelles and the Republic of Zambia.
He said the countries have upheld their constitutional obligations to hold regular democratic elections despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are doing quite well as SADC in areas of political stability as well as peace and security.
“What remains important is to not let our guards down. We need to redouble our efforts towards ensuring that this region remains peaceful, stable and prosperous,” he said.
Among other things, the committee meeting was scheduled to review milestones registered since August, 2020 and challenges encountered, as part of the preparations for both the Organ Troika Summit and the 41st Heads of State and Government Meeting.
During the summit, Botswana will be handing over the leadership of the organ to South Africa. The Organ Troika is responsible for promoting peace and security in the SADC Region by providing member states with direction regarding matters that threaten peace, security and stability.