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Islamic State increasingly getting foothold in SADC region - terror analyst

23 December 2021 8:17 AM
Tags:
SANDF
Mozambique

Security analyst Jasmine Opperman speaks to Refilwe Moloto after an SANDF soldier dies in Mozambique.
  • Opperman says SANDF soldiers will not return within the next 24 months at least
  • The insurgents dropped back only to return with more sophisticated attacks to expand the battlefield, she adds
  • She says intelligence-sharing is a constant problem for SANDF forces in Mozambique and leaks from Mozambiquan forces to the insurgents is a major challenge
  • Islamic State is increasingly getting a foothold in the region, she notes

The SANDF took to the streets of Alexandra encouraging residents of the township to stay indoors. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

The sad news is this is an endless deployment. We are not near the end of the insurgency.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

I can't see soldiers returning within the next 24 months at least. We need to understand that this is counterinsurgency. We need to understand that there are diverse and conflicting objectives at play at this point of time and

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

In counterinsurgency, you can only defeat by breaking the momentum.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

The problem is that the Mozambiquan government is obsessed with a winning narrative. That creates a false impression.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

She says Rwandan troops are in Mozambique to protect important the corridor in French interests.

All the insurgents are doing now is coming back and executing more and more sophisticated attacks in Cabo Delgado which is a well-known tactic - they are expanding the battlefield.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

Our special forces soldiers are well trained but it is a foreign environment, foreign language, foreign culture - and the most important point, intelligence sharing remains a constant problem for our forces in Cabo Delgado.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

We are facing a threat we have never seen before in this region...this is going to allow an institutionalised presence that is going to take generations to be able to counter.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

She says the situation is extremely complex.

This is not about winning the war. This is about sustaining stability for the sake of the people of Cabo Delgado who already do not trust the Mozambiquan forces.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

Opperman says levels of violence have increased and SADC troops which include South African forces are caught in the middle of community struggles.

Ask yourself, how do insurgents know exactly where SADC forces are deployed and they execute an ambush?

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

She says there are two soldiers missing in action.

Where are they? God forbid they are not with the insurgents.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

This leaking of intelligence has been a concern for a number of years she says.

There are information leaks from the Mozambiquan security forces to the insurgants. There are numerous reports that weapons, arms, and uniforms are being sold to the insurgents.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

She says Islamic State (IS) is the key behind the insurgency.

This idea that it is opportunistic is truly naive. The longer the insurgency goes on the Islamic State will find more and more home within the insurgents and within the region - with the Islamic State increasingly finding a foothold in this region.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst

The bad news is once they are present in an area you seldom get rid of them. This is our serious concern.

Jasmine Opperman, Security Analyst



23 December 2021 8:17 AM
Tags:
SANDF
Mozambique

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