Southern Africa’s regional bloc commended member states to support Mozambique in fighting militants with links to Islamic State in the natural gas-rich north of the country.
The Mozambican interior minister announced on Friday security forces had killed around 50 insurgents recently in the northern Cabo Delgado region that has been overwhelmed by violence for several years.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa mentioned a mounting risk of religious extremism and radicalization in southern Africa, threatening peace and security.
“The extraordinary organ troika summit plus Mozambique committed and urged SADC member states to support the government of Mozambique in fighting against the terrorists and armed groups in some districts of Cabo Delgado”.
The statement did not say whether SADC would send troops to fight the militias.
Mnangagwa said the situation in Mozambique called for “an enhanced joint action given the transnational nature of the terrorist groups”.
Infrequent but violent raids on government buildings and villages by militias in Cabo Delgado have intensified in recent years.
Exxon Mobil and Total are among big international energy players developing natural gas projects offshore from northern Mozambique.