Southern African bloc extends troop deployment in Mozambique to fight insurgency -communique

PUBLISHED: Wed, 06 Oct 2021 07:32:26 GMT
South African President and Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation Cyril Ramaphosa (L), Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi (2ndL), Botswanas President Mokgweetsi Masisi (2ndR) and Namibia’s President Hage Geingob (R) arrive for the Extraordinary Summit of the SADC Organ Troika Plus the Republic of Mozambique at the OR Tambo Building in Pretoria, on October 5, 2021. The Summit will receive a progress report on the operations of the SADC Mission to Mozambique since its deployment and will consider the way forward as the deployment to combat acts of terrorism and violent extremism in the Northern Region of Cabo Delgado Province comes to an end on 15 October 2021. (Photo by Phill Magakoe / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Southern African regional bloc SADC agreed at a summit on Tuesday to extend a troop deployment in Mozambique to help the government fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency.

“Summit approved the extension of the SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique) to continue with offensive operations against terrorists and violent extremists,” the bloc said in a communique after top officials met in Pretoria, South Africa.

The SADC troop deployment was initially for three months and due to end on Oct. 15. The communique did not say how long the extension was approved for.

Read more: Southern African nations agree to deploy forces to Mozambique – communique

Southern African nations agreed in June to send troops to help Mozambique respond to the insurgency, which is concentrated in the northern province of Cabo Delgado and has claimed thousands of lives since beginning in 2017.

Rwanda, which is not a SADC member, began deploying soldiers in Mozambique a month later.

The fighting brought a $20 billion natural gas project led by French energy company TotalEnergies to a halt, after fighters attacked the town of Palma in March.

The communique on Tuesday said three soldiers on the SADC mission to Mozambique had lost their lives, from Botswana and Tanzania.

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