Gaborone, 2 March 2022 (TDI): The Southern African Development Community (SADC) launched a Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre to promote counter-terrorism prevention.

Highlighting the significance of the Centre and the timing of its establishment, the minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development of the Republic of Botswana, Machana Ronald Shamukuni, said, “the establishment of the Southern African Development Community Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre (SADC RCTC) could not have come at a more opportune moment to ensure that there is a dedicated structure to coordinate regional counter-terrorism efforts.”

The launch of the SADC RCTC comes at a time the Region, through the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) is in the middle of fighting terrorism and violent extremism in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique.

Minister Shamukuni emphasized the close partnership between the RCTC, the National Counter-Terrorism Centers (NCTCs) in the SADC Associate countries, and International Cooperating Partners (ICPs).

The heart of the effective implementation of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its Action Plan is to minimize the risk postured by terrorist groups.

He praised ICPs such as the EU, UN, and Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) for the continuous partnership in the fight against terrorism by supporting activities.

SADC Executive Secretary, Mr. Elias Mpedi Magosi, emphasized that the RCTC will play a catalytic role in directing counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism policies and programs, conform the SADC Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and Research, analyses and spread information to NCTCs and other related stakeholders, including regional, and global partners.

SADC Heads of countries and Government during the August 2015 Summit held in Gaborone, Republic of Botswana, assumed the Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its Plan of Action pointed at stopping and countering terrorism.

As well as enhancing cooperation. The Summit also distinguished the need for a regional counter-terrorism managing body to facilitate regional, continental, and global cooperation in fighting terrorism.

The RCTC was recognized to ensure boosted coordination, strengthened partnerships, as well as to substitute timely response to terrorism and violent extremism within the SADC Region.