SADC to hold an extraordinary summit on Mozambique
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Cape Town - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will on Friday hold a virtual extraordinary summit of heads of state and government to review the progress made by its mission in Mozambique, the regional bloc said on Tuesday.
The mission was deployed last July to support Mozambique in combating terrorism and acts of violent extremism in some districts of its northern Cabo Delgado province.
Malawian president Lazarus Chakwera, in his capacity as the chairperson of SADC, will president over the extraordinary summit.
Ahead of the summit the SADC organ on politics, defence and security, which is chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and also includes the leaders of Botswana and Namibia, will hold a meeting on Wednesday which will also be attended by Mozambique.
Violence erupted in late 2017, when local Muslim militias, who have declared their allegiance to the so-called Islamic State, launched an insurgence in northern Mozambique.
Jihadi fighters have attacked villages, churches, killed civilians and soldiers to take over strategic infrastructures and extractive mines. Over 800,000 people have been displaced by the conflict.
Religious leaders in Cabo Delgado have pledged to promote dialogue and mutual understanding as a means of improving inter-religious relations and bringing peace to the Mozambican province.
According to Catholic website Vatican News, the religious leaders of Cabo Delgado reiterated their firm rejection of violence and the exploitation of religion to justify terrorism.