SADC Bloc sends troops to northern Mozambique. Jihadist insurgencies have been on the rise on the continent for quite some time. For example, Boko Haram in Nigeria has been undermining people’s peace and security. The Nigerian forces have been battling the group for a long time now. Jihadists kill people and destroy property. They make people flee from their homes to other countries in search of peace. They are one of the reasons for the increasing number of refugees on the globe.
Insurgency in Cabo Delgado
The Cabo Delgado Insurgency is an ongoing conflict in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province, fought between Islamist militants attempting to build an Islamic state in the region and Mozambican security forces.
Civilians have been the primary targets of Islamist militants’ attacks. Ansar al-Sunna, a native extremist group with shaky international ties, is the main insurgent faction. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly began operating in Northern Mozambique in mid-2018, claiming its first attack on Mozambican security forces in June 2019.
Furthermore, bandits have taken advantage of the rebellion to conduct raids. The insurgency is intensifying, with nearly as many attacks carried out in the first half of last year as in the entire year of 2019.
Ansar al-Sunna is a name that is similar to that of an Iraqi Sunni insurgent faction that fought against United States soldiers between 2003-2007. Locals refer to them as Al-Shabaab, but they are not the same as the Somali Al-Shabaab. The militants speak Portuguese, Mozambique’s official language, Kimwane, the native or local language, and Swahili, the Great Lakes region’s lingua franca language.
According to reports, members are mostly Mozambicans from the districts of Mocimboa da Praia, Macomia and Palma, but they also include foreign nationals from TZ and Somalia.
The SADC stepped in to help.
Southern African states agreed yesterday to deploy forces to help suppress a bloody jihadist insurgency that has caused trouble in the northern region of Mozambique for the past 3 years.
Stergomena Tax, the bloc’s Executive Secretary, said:
“The Southern African Development Community, SADC, bloc approved the deployment of the SADC Standby Force in support of Mozambique to fight terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost province of Mozambique. “
She (Stergomena Tax) didn’t say anything about the deployment’s size or timeline. A leaked document from earlier this year suggested sending more than 2,500 soldiers to the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.
Which states attended the summit?
Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe were among the countries represented at the Maputo summit.
As insurgencies are increasing on the continent, it is about time the African continent came together as a whole and not as a section to fight these insurgencies. By doing so, the African continent may improve in its level of development. Moreover, there would be peace and the level of security on the continent would be high. The SADC bloc should ensure that they deal with Mozambique’s insecurity issue once and for all and restore peace in the region.