SADC to deploy troops to fight insurgency in Mozambique

Friday July 09 2021
Soldiers in Mozambique.

Soldiers from the Mozambican army patrol the streets on March 7, 2018 in Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique. Southern Africa bloc, SADC, will deploy troops to Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province from July 15 to help quell attacks. PHOTO | AFP


Southern Africa bloc, SADC, Thursday said it will deploy troops to Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province from July 15 to help quell insurgency-fuelled attacks.

A letter by the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Secretariat sent to the UN secretary general António Guterres asked him to share the information on troop deployment with the UN Security Council.

The SADC military intervention in Cabo Delgado is expected to last three months with the possibility of an extension.

The mission’s objectives include to “support the Republic of Mozambique in the fight against acts of terrorism and extremist violence, and support the country in restoring the rule of law in the affected areas of Cabo Delgado province,” the statement reads.

Last month, Southern African countries approved a $12 million budget for the deployment of troops to help fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency in northern Mozambique.

The announcement was made by the Angolan Foreign Affairs minister who addressed journalists after a Council of Ministers virtual meeting. 


“The sources of financing for this force are made up of a contingency fund and contributions from member states that participate in the troops,” Minister Téte António said without disclosing how much each member state will contribute for the mission.

The SADC Heads of State and Government last month approved the mandate for the standby force mission to Mozambique.

The mission will be deployed to support the war on terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado province, according to a communiqué from the summit held in Maputo,

The summit, hosted by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, urged the member states in collaboration with humanitarian agencies to continue providing humanitarian support to the population affected by the terrorist attacks.

Mozambique is facing an insurgency in northern Cabo Delgado province that borders Tanzania.

The northern province has a population of 1,893,156 spread over its 77,867km² in 16 districts.

The attacks began in October 2017 on police stations in Mocimboa da Praia District, then spread to other districts in the northern part of Cabo Delgado, notably in Macomia, Palma and Nangade.

Islamic State-linked militants launched attacks on the northeastern coastal town of Palma on March 24, ransacked buildings and beheaded civilians.

Known locally as Al-Shabaab — but with no relation to the Somali-based terror group by the same name — the militants in Cabo Delgado have launched a series of brazen raids on towns and villages in an apparent bid to establish an Islamic caliphate.