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SADC considers Mozambique intervention plan

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is deliberating a plan for the regional group to deploy a military force to Mozambique to help stabilise the northern Cabo Delgado province where Islamist insurgents are overwhelming security forces.

The SADC’s Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Co-operation held a meeting in Maputo on 28 April to discuss a report by a team that was sent to Mozambique to assess the situation and recommend how the group could provide military assistance.

The SADC released a statement the following day citing the organ’s chairman, Botswana’s Dr Lemogang Kwape, as reaffirming the group’s commitment to supporting Mozambique but did not explicitly endorse the team’s intervention plan.

“The rise in these dreadful attacks raises concern that they are most likely to spread quickly to other provinces in Mozambique and to the entire region,” Kwape said. “Therefore, the sooner we respond collectively, the less likely that these barbaric acts of terrorism will continue to destabilise our region.”

The SADC’s Technical Assessment Mission that visited Mozambique from 15–21 April comprised officers and officials from Angola, Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, who were selected for their expertise in areas such as intelligence, air operations, ground forces operations, communications, and logistics.

The team submitted a report, a copy of which has been seen by Janes, that envisaged the SADC launching a three-phase operation: developing the intelligence picture, including the maritime situation as it is believed most weapons reach the insurgents by sea; deploying special forces for “targeted operations” and naval forces to interdict weapons deliveries and suppress the maritime crime thought to be a major source of funding; and pacification operations in the province.

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