SA Joint Ops peace boss calls on Op Vikela troops

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The senior officer tasked with peace support operations at the Joint Operations Division of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) called on the Operation Vikela deployment in Mozambique to, among others, attend to crucial support issues.

Brigadier General Nditsheni Singo, reports Major Mpho Mathebula, “personally interacted” with South African soldiers deployed to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM). The one-star also used the hands-on visit to assess equipment deployed to “ascertain wellbeing and effectiveness”.

“The visit of the Director of Peace Operations to SAMIM ensures the promotion of stability for strong partnerships between South Africa and other SADC member states in achieving mission objectives,” was how Mathebula reported on the 11 to 15 September visit.

SAMIM was launched in July 2021 in response to an escalating security crisis in Cabo Delgado, where extremist groups have and are causing “significant disruption and suffering to local communities”. The mission is a collaborative effort by Southern African countries to support the Forças Armadas de Defesa de Mocambique (FADM) in restoring peace and stability in Mozambique.

South Africa has been active in SAMIM since the mission’s inception, providing troops, equipment and expertise. “South African soldiers are instrumental in conducting peacekeeping operations, offering humanitarian aid and collaborating SADC member states to counter the extremist threat,” Mathebula wrote.

In April President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the SANDF deployment to Mozambique as Operation Vikela be extended from 16 April 2023 to 15 April 2024 at a cost of R984 million.

Ramaphosa said up to 1 495 SANDF personnel would be deployed to help Mozambique combat terrorism and violent extremism affecting the northern part of the country.