South African President Cyril Ramaphosa re-affirmed the commitment of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to “a lasting solution to the conflict to ensure Mozambique is stable, peaceful and able to develop its economy”.
He was responding to questions asked by National Council of Provinces (NCOP) members in Parliament yesterday (Thursday, 10 June).
The question, posed by Shahidabibi Shaikh of the ANC in Limpopo, was one of six Ramaphosa fielded.
He told her South Africa “is working in established SADC systems to address destabilisation of Cabo Delgado province and establish political stability in Mozambique”.
Ramaphosa did not expand on the SADC Double Troika technical assessment mission to Cabo Delgado in April apart from saying it proposed “deployment of the SADC Standby Force in support of the Mozambican Armed Defence Force (officially Armed Forces for the Defence of Mozambique) to combat the threat of terrorism and acts of violent extremism”.
While no official details of the force and its contributing countries for equipment and personnel have yet been made public, it appears the major component will be three light infantry battalions supported by a pair of Special Forces squadrons. Attack and other helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft, a submarine and maritime patrol vessels are also mooted for the SADC force.
Ramaphosa provided a date for the next extraordinary SADC organ troika summit. The 23 June summit, venue not given but in all probability Maputo as previous top level SADC deliberations were there, will “reach agreement on the appropriate regional response in support of Mozambique”.