Téte António, who participated in an extraordinary virtual meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said at the end of the meeting that the meeting was held in compliance with a decision made by the Maputo summit.
According to the Angolan Foreign Affairs minister, the Council of Ministers, composed of the Foreign Affairs ministers, “was tasked with working on the budget of the force that should be operationalized to support the sister Republic of Mozambique”.
“This is what was analyzed today, the budget is US$12 million in total, it is subdivided into items, sources of financing”, explained the minister.
The Angolan government official stressed that the sources of financing for this force are made up of a contingency fund and contributions from member states that participate in the troops, who should also contribute with US$7M among them.
The minister said that – taking into account the situation that many countries in the region are experiencing – SADC’s reserve fund could be utilised “to allow for celerity in carrying out this mission.”
“As you know, it is a matter of survival for the region, the situation in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, is a serious situation, which the organization has to face immediately and the deadline for contributions has been set, which is July 9, but if there is a deficit in the contributions of the member states, which are late in depositing the amount that was determined by each of the countries, this reserve fund can be used”, he explained.
However, it was also established that in case of resorting to the reserve fund, its replacement “should not be done too late”.
“Because we can’t keep a region without a reserve and we don’t know how the situation can evolve, tomorrow we can be compelled to use this very fund, thus it needs to be fed,” he added.
Téte António stressed that Angola presented as a proposal at the meeting that the organization’s mechanisms be fine-tuned in terms of swift responses in response to situations of emergency crisis or threats, whether they be related to peace and security, or natural disasters and other such calamities.
“One of the issues our delegation raised is that [the situation in Mozambique] should serve as a lesson for the region, in the sense that we fine-tune our mechanisms so that when such crises occur, the region is not doing the same exercise over again in repeated meetings to respond to the situation”, he pointed out.
Following the Angolan proposal, others emerged, the minister said, which will follow the normal procedures to reach a decision.
“The issue of the need for the region to apply the principle of subsidiarity in relation to the African Union was also addressed, which means that when the region acts on a crisis, it is also doing it on behalf of the parent house that is the African Union; we are closer to the crisis, it is only natural SADC handles it, as it takes place in Southern Africa. In West Africa, as we have seen several times, ECOWAS has also acted on the basis of this principle, as we can also use existing resources in the parent company”, he stressed.
The head of the Angolan diplomacy highlighted the mandatory nature of contributions, as it is a matter of survival for the region.
“We all have to be aware that the region is under threat, with a crisis in Mozambique and we all have to respond promptly to this threat that we know in Southern Africa”, he concluded.
For the next few days, technical meetings of specialized sectors are planned, namely defense and security, to analyze practical issues, the minister informed further.
SADC is a sub-regional integration organisation, composed of 16 Member States: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Essuatini, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, South Africa, Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana and Mozambique, which currently holds the rotating presidency.