SADC to deploy troops to Cabo Delgado

by | Jun 23, 2021 | International | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

The Southern African Development Community has finally resolved to send a standby troop to Mozambique`s Cabo Delgado Province which has been under siege from insurgent non-state actors.

SADC`s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation recommended that the region deploys the SADC standby force to deal with the terrorists in the neighbouring country.

Meeting in the Mozambican capital Maputo today June 23, 2021, SADC Heads of State and government considered and adopted recommendations of the SADC Troika, signaling the first resolute step to effectively dealing with the terrorist menace which has killed thousands, while more than 800 000 remain displaced.

Reading a Communique at the end of the Extraordinary Summit in Maputo, SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax said,
“The summit endorsed the recommendations of the report of the chairperson of the organ of the politics, defence and security co-operation and approved the mandate for a SADC standby force mission to be deployed in support of Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado”.

As part of the recommendations of the Technical team, SADC embraced a proactive approach to the conflict and considered worst case scenarios which put civilians in grave danger if conflict erupts.

The recommendations suggested putting measures in place to guard the safety and wellbeing of civilians for the period of the envisaged operation, thus the establishment of the Humanitarian Emergency Operation Centre in Maputo.
It is expected that sufficient evacuation mechanisms shall remain in place for purposes of swiftly evacuating civilians from conflict zones into safety.

Today’s agreement brings to an end to months of deliberations, with member states at some point failing to agree on whether or not to deploy, or on the modalities of the envisaged deployment.

The SADC Standby force gets to taste their first-ever deployment into a non-peace keeping mission.

The force has never been deployed into active combat.

Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia and to a limited extent, South Africa participated in an operation to fend off invading foreign forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998.

President Mnangagwa returned home from Maputo this evening.