Mozambiquan special forces train as SADC agrees to deploy troops to Cabo Delgado
SADC has agreed to deploy troops to northern Mozambique, without sharing details
Mozambiquan special forces are in training, and the military is starting to “take the fight to the militants”
Military intervention, though necessary, will not solve the issue, as many fighters are young men from the region
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has agreed to deploy “standby” troops to Cabo Delgado in the north of Mozambique to battle an Islamic State-linked insurgency.
More than 800 000 people have been displaced so far while about 3000 people have died.
Energy giant Total has suspended operations, dashing hopes that the multi-billion-dollar gas project will bring prosperity to the region.
The SADC announcement, backed by all 16 member states, did not provide detail on the number of troops or where exactly they will be deployed.
Refilwe Moloto interviewed Dino Mahtani, Deputy Director for the Africa Program of the International Crisis Group (scroll up to listen).
Mahtani explained what is happening in the region and whether the military intervention is the right move.
Diplomats close to the process were telling me there’s still a long way to go. There’s no operational details… The region has expressed their worries, and eagerness to deploy…Dino Mahtani, Africa Program - International Crisis Group
If you put a heavy external deployment of troops that are not familiar with the terrain, and don’t have clear command and control orders, things could get very messy…Dino Mahtani, Africa Program - International Crisis Group
Mozambiquan special forces are also training, so something is happening… It’s very clear that there does have to be a security response… We’ve seen the military starting to take the fight a little more systematically to the militants… They captured some ground in Cabo Delgado…Dino Mahtani, Africa Program - International Crisis Group
There’s no way this group will ever be defeated in the way that some people think that you can wipe them off the map… These are boys that come from the society of Cabo Delgado… The brains have a foreign flavour… The Mozambiquan boys… are staying so long as they are paid… You want them tired out… and welcomed back into society…Dino Mahtani, Africa Program - International Crisis Group
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