| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

S.Africa approves use of 1,495 military personnel to help Mozambique fight insurgents

South African Parliament said on Wednesday that President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorized the use of 1,495 members of the military to help neighbor Mozambique fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency.

The use of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) comes after southern African regional bloc SADC last month agreed on the deployment of troops to Mozambique to combat a conflict which began in 2017 and has killed thousands.

Ramaphosa said the SANDF personnel would be used between July 15 and Oct. 15 at an expected cost of $66.3 million, a letter sent to the speaker of parliament showed.

In the letter. Ramaphosa referred specifically to authorising the employment of SANDF members and did not spell out how many of those would be soldiers deployed on Mozambican soil.

The conflict in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province has displaced hundreds of thousands and brought a natural gas project led by French energy company Total Energies to a grinding halt.

At the time SADC nations authorized the deployment of the bloc’s standby force, they did not say how many troops would be involved.

Ramaphosa’s letter said South Africa’s military would help Mozambique combat “acts of terrorism and violent extremists that affected the area of Cabo Delgado”.

  • Reuters