“Sadc should resist intimidating nations”
Fungi Kwaramba recently in KINSHASA, DRC
Member States of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and Africa as a whole must never give up their freedoms and hard-won destiny at the expense of social, economic and political opportunity by pandering to whims intrusive Western nations, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
In an interview at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare shortly after arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where he was attending the regional body’s 42nd summit, President Mnangagwa said peace and security figured prominently in discussions between Sadc Heads of State. and Government.
He said the region must remain united and not be divided by geopolitical shifts and trade disruptions.
“We also said that what is happening in Europe must not divide us, we must not be supervised by foreign powers, we must be strong and remain ourselves and defend the principles of our founding fathers in the region” , said President Mnangagwa.
Earlier in an intervention on the Peace and Security report of the Troika of the SADC Organ at the Kinshasa summit, the President, who sits on the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), composed of 15 members, commended SADC Member States for making resources available for peacekeeping in the region.
This follows the deployment of a combined Sadc force to deal with insurgents in the Mozambican region of Cabo Delgado.
“We commend the notable achievements of our SADC forces in neutralizing terrorists in parts of Cabo Delgado. Their brave victory in recapturing towns and villages from terrorists to facilitate the return of displaced villagers as well as the passage of humanitarian aid to affected populations is applauded,” President Mnangagwa said.
The regional force has made progress in containing terrorism, with relative peace now returning to parts of Mozambique.
However, President Mnangagwa said the gains made by SADC should be firmly safeguarded, especially following the machinations of some countries like the United States to put Africa on a leash through selfish and manipulative policies.
He added that while the Covid-19 pandemic and other global challenges have imposed new challenges on the region, there is a need for SADC to capitalize on the new sense of self-confidence and capacity for innovation.
This, President Mnangagwa said, can be achieved if the region takes charge of its own security and destiny.
“This is all the more critical as the world witnesses the re-emergence of oppressive policies and systems that we have fought against and overcome. Today we stand as sovereign and independent countries with equal status with all others within the community of nations.
“The US Malicious Activities of Russia in Africa Bill is a good example. These backward laws have no place in today’s world and run counter to the essence and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations. “Could” should not be interpreted as automatically being right.
“The inflated posturing of some powerful states with their doctrine of ‘either you are with me or against me, and if you are not with me, you must be subject to unilateral sanctions’, is unacceptable. We must never give up. We must never abandon our fate and our destiny on the altar of social, economic and political opportunism,” he said.
“We regret this disturbing trend which undermines our sovereign right to independently determine our own future; a right we fought for, which was not handed to us on a silver platter. Individually and collectively, we will never betray or stray from our sacred duty to honor the many sons and daughters of Africa who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and democracy we enjoy today”.
President Mnangagwa challenged the region to “defend and preserve all facets of the independence, sovereignty and unity of our countries and institutions”.
“This is fundamental to the achievement of regional stability, peace and security and indeed forms the basis on which our broader goals of regional integration and sustainable socio-economic development can be achieved.”
In a statement at the end of the summit, Sadc said the region would not tolerate interference in the internal affairs of its member states.
“The summit expressed its dissatisfaction with the continent being targeted by unilateral and punitive measures through the Countering Malicious Russian Activities in Africa Act which was recently passed by the United States House of Representatives. and reaffirmed its principled position of non-alignment on any conflict outside the continent, and ordered that the issue be placed on the agenda of the African Union.