By Anna Chibamu
UNITED States Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Nathan Sales has warned the on-going violence in Mozambique should not be ignored as it had potential to spill over into neighbouring countries and destabilise the whole SADC region.
During a question-and-answer session at a media briefing over the phone last week, Ambassador Sales, who is also the US Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, said the Islamist Insurgency in Mozambique, if unstopped, could weaken the whole of the Southern Africa region as it had already spilled into Tanzania.
Sales was recently in Mozambique to seek cooperation with that country’s leadership in ending the war in Cabo Delgado province that has claimed over 2 000 lives, displacing over 400 000 others in the past few years.
According to Sales, it was important to have transitional and regional solutions to control terrorist threats, adding his country was prepared to fight the ISIS and bring peace and development into Mozambique.
Sales also visited South Africa on the same issue.
Ambassador Sales said transnational and regional solutions were essential to getting terrorist threats under control and to degrading and defeating terrorist networks.
“We are already starting to see a bit of spill-over from the violence in Cabo Delgado into neighbouring countries.
“And so as much as we want to work on a bilateral basis with countries that are affected. It’s also important to have multi-stakeholder conversations so that countries that are affected by this violence can coordinate their efforts and make sure that we’re bringing to bear the full suite of our respective capabilities and resources to address the problem set.”
In April this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa visited Mozambican leader Filipe Nyusi where he strongly condemned acts of terror being perpetrated in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Manila and Sofala.
He also said the violence in that country undermined efforts towards peace and development.
Mnangagwa was then chair of the SADC organ on politics, defence and security cooperation.
Last month, the President said acts of terrorism in Mozambique were shocking and pledged to help the eastern neighbour in any way possible to counter the acts.
“These acts of barbarity must be stamped out wherever they are found,” he tweeted.
“Zimbabwe is ready to assist in any way we can. The security of our region is paramount in the protection of our people,” he said.
This was after 15 boys and five adults were reportedly beheaded by suspected militants in the northeast of the country.