SADC to fight Islamic insurgents

SHARE   |   Monday, 21 December 2020   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Dr Kwape Dr Kwape
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The regional block SADC is said to be waking up from their rhetoric statements regarding the insurgence of terrorism in Mozambique which is threatening regional peace and stability.

Though Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Dr Lemogang Kwape said he is not aware of any military interventions, Press Secretary to Zimbabwean presidency George Charamba has hinted that. This publication wanted to know if it is true SADC is considering military intervention, and Kwape as the chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics,Defense and Security ministerial portfolio said he not aware of that decision.

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Early this week Charamba informed the Zimbabwean media that SADC is edging closer to sending troops to Mozambique. "SADC is fast moving towards a subregional response against Islamic insurgency, an initiative which started when President Emmerson Mnangagwa was chairman of the SADC Organ on Defence, Politics and Security," he said

Mozambique has been battling with armed militant group, believed to be affiliated to the Daesh/ISIS terrorist organization which has wreaked havoc in northern Mozambique since late 2017 and their appeal for assistance fell on deaf ear.

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Currently the Mozambican army is being assisted by private military contractors, including Russia’s Wagner Group and the South African based security company Dyck Advisory Group.

All eyes were on Botswana as the chairperson of the SADC SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security and President Mokgweetsi Masisi moved swiftly to call an Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit plus SADC Force Intervention Brigade in Gaborone recently to address the Mozambique situation.

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SADC brigade was launched in August 2008 and is made up of military, police and civilian members from regional block member countries.

The Islamic group which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group has been active for three years in the Cabo Delgado region and attack villages to sow terror and try to establish a caliphate.

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The decapitation of more than 50 people in the Northern cabo Delgado province is said to have forced SADC to convene the emergency meeting.

The EO-OTS met again in Mozambique on Tuesday where most of the states agreed that a military intervention is needed to contain the deadly Islamic insurgency.

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Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe are said to be ready to help the SADC brigaded with both military and intelligence gathering once the leaders sanctioned the intervention.

In its communique, SADC stated that the Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit directed the finalization of a comprehensive regional response and support to Mozambique to be considered urgently by the summit. “The Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit accepted the proposal by the United Nations to realign the current Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) troops strength to create the headroom for the Quick Reaction Forces (QRFs), and generate two   QRFs from the SADC Troops Contributing Countries,” reads communique from SADC Secretariat.

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Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Commander Lieutenant General Placid Segokgo early this year raised a concern about the Islamic insurgents in Mozambique saying if not contained might spread within the region. “Terrorism, particularly the insurgency in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique, is a very serious threat. It is not on our shores but it is a threat that moves very dynamically,” he warned.

Lt-Gen Segokgo said the region could not sit on its laurels as the terrorism unfolded as it could spread across Southern Africa.



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