Statement by MDC Alliance (MDC-A) Secretary for International Relations, Gladys Kudzaishe Hlatywayo on the security and humanitarian situation in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province.
SADC MUST PRIORITIZE CIVILIAN PROTECTION IN MOZAMBIQUE
The MDC Alliance stands with the people of Mozambique following the violent insurgency and atrocities committed against civilians in the Northern Province of Cabo Delgado.
As a social democratic party, we offer our solidarity to the civilians who are bearing the brunt of the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
We take note of the Communiqué of the Extraordinary Double Troika Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held in Maputo on the 8th of April 2021.
We particularly note the resolution by SADC to send a “technical deployment” to the Republic of Mozambique.
In light of the grave threat to human and regional security posed by the insurgency, we call for a clear SADC roadmap that balances the principle of non-interference with the urgent need to protect civilians and maintain regional peace and security.
We are extremely concerned by the human suffering and humanitarian crisis unfolding in Cabo Delgado.
Since the onset of the conflict in 2017, an estimated 3000 civilians have been killed, 700 000 civilians have been displaced and more than 1 million people are in need of food aid.
Women and children have been subjected to gruesome human rights abuses including beheadings, rape and sexual abuse.
These atrocities could have been avoided by a timeous, well-thought-out regional intervention.
The increasing attacks including the recent Palma massacres clearly show the intensity of the conflict and how Mozambique ought to be assisted by the regional block to restore peace and security in the affected region.
We call upon SADC to prioritize the protection of vulnerable civilians from militants, respect the rights of the people of Mozambique and be accompanied by an independent oversight mechanism.
We further implore the Government of Mozambique to work towards addressing local grievances in the endowed province of Cabo Delgado including challenges of underdevelopment that may aid the insurgency.