Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 1203rd meeting, held on 4 March 2024, on the Updated Briefing on the Operations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM).

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling all its previous decisions on the Situation in northern Mozambique and the Operations of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), in particular, Communiqué [PSC/MIN/COMM.1119 (2022)] adopted at its 1119th meeting held at Ministerial level, on 7 November 2022;

Noting the opening remarks by H.E. Ambassador Emilia Mkusa, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Namibia to the AU and the Chairperson of the PSC for March 2024, and the introductory statement by H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye; as well as the statements by Mr. Sergio Baloi, the representative of the Republic of Mozambique and the presentation by H.E. Professor Kula Ishmael Theletsane, Director, Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat;

Reaffirming the unwavering commitment, solidarity and support of the AU to the people and Government of Mozambique in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism and to achieve lasting peace, security and stability, as well as socio-economic development in their country; and

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

1. Takes note of, and endorses, the 43rd Communique of the SADC Summit of Head of States and Government held on 17 August 2023, in Luanda, Republic of Angola, which among others, extended the mandate of SAMIM from 16 July 2023 to 15 July 2024;

2. Expresses deep concern over the growing threat posed by terrorism and violent extremism in northern Mozambique, and in this regard, condemns, in the strongest terms, all terrorist activities perpetrated by Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jamaa (ASWJ) in Cabo Delgado and other parts of northern Mozambique;

3. Commends the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, for its unwavering commitment to completely defeat terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization, as well as to restore peace, security and stability in the northern Province of Cabo Delgado;

4. Also commends SADC and the SAMIM Troop/Police Contributing Countries for their significant contributions, continued sacrifice and commitment to fight and defeat terrorism, as well as to restore peace, security, stability and to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the Cabo Delgado Province and other parts of northern Mozambique;

5. Pays tribute to the SAMIM personnel particularly those who have paid the supreme sacrifice and expresses heartfelt condolences to their families and Governments; wishes speedy recovery to all SAMIM personnel nursing physical and phycological injuries;

6. Also commends the Government of the Republic of Angola and the Republic of Zambia for providing strategic airlift of SAMIM cargo from the AU Continental Logistic Base in Douala, Cameroon, to Mozambique;
7. Applauds the AU Commission for the continued provision of technical and logistical support to SAMIM, including the provision of mission equipment from the Continental Logistics Base in Douala, Cameroon; in this regard, commends the continued efforts and contribution of the Government of Cameroon towards the full operationalisation of the Continental Logistics Base in Douala, in particular its decision in January 2024 to exempt all imports for the CLB from excise and customs duties, and further to annul, some service taxes payable by the African Union in 2023 amounting to USD 1,600,000 (one million six hundred dollars) as a demonstration of African solidarity;

8. Stresses the need for genuine and inclusive dialogue between the Government of Mozambique and all critical stakeholders, including traditional and religious leaders, women and the youth, in addressing the root causes of conflict in the region;

9. Underscores the critical importance of sustaining the gains made thus far in the fight against terrorism, including the need for the Mozambican authorities to effectively hold all areas liberated from the terrorists and to implement socio-economic activities in the region, such as peace strengthening and quick impact projects, in order to win the hearts and minds of the local population, as well as the importance of avoiding the creation of a security vacuum following the withdrawal of SAMIM on 15 July 2024; and in this regard, requests the AU Commission to assist in mobilizing the necessary resources;

10. Emphasizes the importance of enhanced coordination of efforts by all actors providing support to the Government of Mozambique in order to ensure complementarity;

11. Expresses deep concern over the growing humanitarian crisis and underscores the need for redoubled efforts in the mobilization of humanitarian assistance to the population affected by the current conflict in northern Mozambique;

12. Takes note of the Decision of SADC on the withdrawal of SAMIM from Mozambique; and requests the SADC Secretariat to share experiences and lessons learned with the Peace and Security Council on the nature, scope, depth, challenges and possible recommendations to inform future engagements;

13. Requests the AU Commission, in collaboration with the Government of Mozambique, to undertake a Study to evaluate the progress made by the Government of Mozambique to fill the gap which will be left by SAMIM; and its readiness to stabilise the country, as well as undertake a needs assessment to determine the support required to accompany the Government in its aspiration to degrade ASWJ and protect the territorial integrity of the Country;

14. Requests SADC to provide Reports to the AU Commission and regular update briefings to the PSC on the evolution of the situation in northern Mozambique and the operations of SAMIM; and

15. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Butrus Gilbert

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