Botswana President Masisi in Zim

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is visiting Zambia and Zimbabwe and will probably discuss the escalating violence in Mozambique where thousands of people have been displaced by ISIS-linked insurgents

Sydney Kawadza

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is today expected to jet in to Harare as part of his two-state working visit to Zimbabwe and Zambia.

According to a statement from the Batswana Ministry of International Affairs and Co-operation, President Masisi will meet President Edgar Lungu and President Mnangagwa as the chairman of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Politics.

The ministry said President Masisi will discuss bilateral, regional and continental issues of mutual interest and concerns.

“The Heads of State will also explore common solutions to the pressing socio-economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

President Masisi is also expected to present Botswana’s candidate for the SADC executive secretary position Elias Magosi.

Botswana enjoys longstanding relations with both Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Diplomatic relations between Botswana and Zambia were established in 1966 and with Zimbabwe in 1983.

“Over the years, Botswana has enjoyed strong bonds of friendship and fruitful co-operation with both countries in the fields, including trade, tourism, education, defence and security,” the statement said.

President Masisi is likely to discuss with President Mnanagwa, the former SADC Troika chairperson, issues of concern such the acts of terrorism in the in Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique

A SADC Troika meeting held in November last year directed the finalization of a comprehensive regional response and support to Mozambique.

The situation in Mozambique has escalated in recent weeks with tens of thousands of people reported displaced after a deadly attack by Islamic State-linked insurgents.

According to reports from Mozambique, many of those fleeing were believed to have scattered into dense forest or attempted to escape by boat when Palma came under attack.

The Mozambican government has confirmed dozens of deaths, including at least seven killed when militants ambushed a convoy of vehicles trying to escape a besieged hotel on Friday last week.

Witnesses have also described bodies in the streets, some of them beheaded.

The district where Palma is located is home to about 110,000 people, according to UN estimates.

These include about 43,600 who sought shelter there after fleeing attacks elsewhere in Cabo Delgado province, which has been home to a simmering Islamist insurgency since 2017.


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