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ZULWINI – Coordinator of the SADC RCTC representative Mumbi Mulenga said incidents of violence attributed to the Swaziland International Solidarity Forces (SISF) was a serious cause of concern.

He stated that the regional security threat assessment that was conducted in 2020 revealed that the SADC Region was confronted with numerous security threats that may negate the implementation of the strategic objectives of SADC. Among the numerous threats was terrorism. “Even though the current regional terrorism threat assessment indicates that the threat in the Kingdom of Eswatini is low, the kingdom need not be complacent, given that terrorism has already manifested in two of SADC MS, namely DRC (eastern parts) and Republic of Mozambique (Cabo Delgado Province). Further, isolated incidences of violent extremism and activities of the Swaziland International Solidarity Forces are of great concern,” he said. Mulenga said in order to respond to the emerging threat of terrorism, SADC developed its initial Regional Counter Terrorism (CT) strategy in 2015.

In 2021 the coordinator said the regional CT Strategy was revised and a corresponding five-year plan of action (POA) was developed. “Due to the threat of terrorism, which has manifested in two of our member States, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique, it became imperative for SADC secretariat to establish a unit dedicated to the management of terrorism, hence the official launch of SADC RCTC on February 28, 2022, in Dar es Salaam, The United Republic of Tanzania,” he said.


He explained that the core function of SADC RCTC was the coordination of counter terrorism efforts among the 16 member States of SADC, through the implementation of the five-year POA. He said there was a need to engage each other in open and honest conversation so that they understood the general terrorism threat in SADC Region and the Kingdom of Eswatini, in particular.  Similar workshops had been held in the Republic of Malawi and Namibia, including a Regional Workshop CT for stakeholders’ held in the URT in April 2023. Meanwhile, Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sizwe Ntshangase said the engagement could not have come at a better time, because new security threats loomed large on the horizon of the SADC region such as terrorism and violent extremism, posing a significant challenge to the region’s ability to maintain peace, stability and sustained economic growth.
“The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2020-2030) is a framework which is premised on foundation for peace and security in the region as a prerequisite for the achievement of SADC objectives of socio-economic development, poverty eradication and regional integration,” he said.

The participants of the workshop included the public and private sectors: non-State actors, traditional leaders and academics closer to the public on a relatively regular basis. “We sought to draw participants from a variety of sources, both security and non-security institutions in order to have a broader and deeper interrogation into the aspects of radicalisation,” he said.