Regional bloc, Sadc will deploy a standby force to help Mozambique fight terrorism and acts of extremism in Cabo Delgado.
The deployment of the force comes after the bloc’s technical assessment mission recommended the immediate deployment of forces in April to repel acts of extremism and terrorism in Mozambique.
“Summit endorsed the recommendations of the Report of the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and approved the Mandate for the Sadc Standby Force Mission to the Republic of Mozambique, to be deployed in support of Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado,” reads part of the Communiqué following the Extraordinary Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government meeting in Maputo yesterday.
The summit urged the member States in collaboration with Humanitarian Agencies to continue providing humanitarian support to the population affected by the terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, including the internally displaced persons.
The Heads of States and Governments also commended the Republic of Mozambique for offering to host Sadc Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre (SHOC) in Nacala, Mozambique, a centre that is expected to enhance regional preparedness, and timely response.
In April, the Sadc technical mission recommended the immediate deployment of intelligence assets (land, air and maritime) and personnel be deployed in support of FADM intelligence in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the terrorist activities.
The mission recommended that the Sadc Rapid Deployment comprised of Special Forces and naval assets to conduct targeted operations and eliminate maritime crime in the area of operation.
Sadc was urged to establish a coordination mechanism in Maputo prior to the deployment of the Sadc Standby Force.
Sadc, the mission said, should provide support (logistics and training) to strengthen FADM capability to combat terrorism.
In April, the Extraordinary Double Troika Summit directed that a technical assessment mission be deployed to Mozambique to undertake an assessment of the security situation.
The technical assessment mission was made up of representatives from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Malawi and Tanzania.
The insurgency is taking a toll on Mozambique threatening investments.
In April, French energy group Total declared force majeure on its US$20bn liquefied natural gas project and withdrew its staff from the construction site in the wake of insurgent attacks.
The terrorist attacks have led to the death of thousands of civilians while the number of internally displaced people has skyrocketed from 70 000 to 700 000.
There are reports that children as young as 11 have been beheaded in Mozambique by the militants who also overran the coastal town of Palma and occupied it for some days after defeating the Mozambican military.
The situation in Mozambique threatens to destabilise the Sadc region which has jolted the leaders into action.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa attended yesterday’s summit of Heads of States and Government.