Combat Team Bravo is the second SA National Defence Force (SANDF) front line rotation to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM).
Speaking about the deployment, its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jacques Dyason, stressed the continued application of pressure on ASWJ (Al Sunnah Wal Jamaah) in Cabo Delgado province. This, he is reported as telling Major Mpho Mathebula of the SANDF Joint Operations Division, saw enemy cells “dismantled” which, alongside ASWJ fragmentation into smaller groups, contributed to the mission’s overall success, including protection of civilians in Bravo’s area of responsibility.
“Over the last few months, the SADC, FADM (Forcas Armadas de Defesa de Mocambique) and Rwandan Security Forces, have been involved in deliberate planned offensive operations resulting in stabilisation of the area,” Dyason is reported as saying.
“When we first arrived, there was a lot of violence, the popular tactics being beheading and violent attacks on the local population. Lately our area of responsibility has been a lot more stable.”
Bravo, drawn from Middelburg, Mpumalanga-based 4 SA Infantry (SAI) Battalion, has been in Cabo Delgado since May when it rotated with Alpha combat group, ex-2 SAI (Zeerust, North West).
Bravo’s area of responsibility is the Macomia district of northern Mozambique where it operates under SADC Scenario Five – multi-dimensional peacekeeping incorporating police and correctional services in humanitarian efforts alongside diplomacy. SAMIM previously operated as a Scenario Six mission using military interventions and operations to enforce mission objectives.
SAMIM is a documented regional bloc peacekeeping mission with the broad mandate of restoring peace and security in South Africa’s eastern neighbour. Mission activities include combating terrorism and violent extremism in Mozambique; restoring law and order in Cabo Delgado; implementing SADC Organ Troika Summit Plus Mozambique Recommendations; enhancing FADM (Forcas Armadas de Defesa de Mocambique) operational capabilities; providing logistics and training support to FADM; providing humanitarian relief and ensuring protection of civilians.
SAMIM has notched up a 70% success rate in the objective to neutralise, degrade and defeat ASWJ in Cabo Delgado. Currently the enemy finds itself “dislodged” from previous strongholds and is experiencing “a drastic degradation” in its capacity to conduct large scale operations and occupy villages.
Dyason, according to Mathebula, reports “a positive relationship” with local communities.
When returning from operations, SAMIM forces are regularly greeted by waving children, signifying community understanding and appreciation for the stabilising role of soldiers. Combat Team Bravo’s Commander and his staff strongly believes the presence of military forces resulted in a safer and more secure community environment.
“The positive impact of SAMIM is further highlighted by improvements in population numbers. Villages, once barely occupied, are now filling up, with people returning to their homes. Internally displaced camps (IDPs), such as the one in Macomia, have seen a significant reduction in occupants,” Mathebula reported.