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Sadc calls for total sanctions removal

by Staff reporter
12 Mar 2024 at 05:11hrs | Views
The SADC Council of Ministers ended its meeting yesterday reiterating the regional bloc's call for the lifting of all forms of illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe and deliberating on regional food security and nutrition in light of erratic rains caused by El Nino, which have left 43 million people in need of food support.

This comes as the United States made piecemeal adjustments to the sanctions regime imposed on Zimbabwe, including reimposing sanctions on some from one American law to another.

The SADC council has been meeting in Luanda, Angola, since Sunday, largely to review progress on the state of SADC finances, implementation of SADC Summit decisions, and to deliberate on how the bloc can effectively interact with international cooperating partners and non-State actors.

Other issues that came up for discussion relate to member States' contributions, arrears and operations of SADC, and its missions in Mozambique and DRC as well as the establishment of the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Centre.

In a statement yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava said the meeting considered a comprehensive agenda that focused on the status of finances of SADC.

"Member States were urged to honour their financial obligations in terms of their annual subscriptions and the SADC Mission in Mozambique and the DRC," he said.

"Zimbabwe undertook to pay its contributions. Comoros was placed under level 4 sanctions until it pays its subscriptions."

This means Comoros will no longer participate in SADC meetings until it pays.

Madagascar, which is one year in arrears, made a payment plan, but sanctions will only be lifted after payment of its subscriptions.

Ambassador Shava said the Council of Ministers took note of the satisfactory implementation of the SADC Summit decisions by both member States and the Secretariat.

"This includes the unveiling of the statue of Mwalimu Julius Kambarange Nyerere, the founding father of the United Republic of Tanzania, at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

"The meeting also deliberated on the issue of regional food security and nutrition where it is estimated that about 43 million people are food insecure in the region.

"Our region continues to face various nutritional challenges due to poverty, climate change, economic instability, armed conflicts and epidemics," said Ambassador Shava.

The meeting discussed the state of disasters in the region, as cyclones, floods and droughts continued to damage the region.

As a mitigation measure to the effects of the disasters, SADC encouraged member states to support the operationalisation of the SADC Emergency Response Team, including its deployment to support member States affected by disasters.

Youth mainstreaming also came under discussion and the SADC Council of Ministers noted the ongoing processes to formally include youths within the main structures of the SADC.

Ambassador Shava said youth inclusion was in line with the Revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2020-2030).

"The meeting directed the SADC Secretariat to expedite the operationalisation of the SADC Youth Programme by making provision for the SADC Youth Desk in the SADC Secretariat Structure review exercise.

"Council also reiterated SADC's call for the lifting of all forms of illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe," said Ambassador Shava.

SADC Council of Ministers Chair, Angolan External Relations Minister Ambassador Tete Antonio, thanked all the ministers for attending the meeting and the rich deliberations that took place.

"We thank the private sector, the civil society, because each of them in their own capacity do contribute to ensure that SADC is an organisation which is proud of its name, proud of its work," said Ambassador Antonio.

Source - The Herald
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