Armed soldiers conducting almost continuous patrols have, according to the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), brought calm and stability to at least three areas of Cabo Delgado.
A statement from Mission headquarters in Pemba has it that public confidence is “restored” and there is a resumption of economic activities in Mueda, Macomia and Nangade districts.
“SAMIM forces opened roads from Pemba to Macomia, Awasse, Mueda and Nangade restoring public confidence that the risk of attack is low due to consistent patrols by SAMIM forces and the Forcas Armadas de Defesa de Mocambique (FADM),” SAIMIM’s Major Nathalie Mfaladi said in a statement.
“Roads blocked by insurgents since the armed conflict started were used strategically to capture and isolate towns from outside assistance. Opening these roads saw citizens returning to their places of residence.”
Another plus from the operationalisation of the multi-national Southern African Development Community (SADC) force is the return of electricity to Mueda after a year without power. The electricity supply was apparently cut or destroyed during an insurgent attack on Awasse, site of a major sub-station.
“The return of electricity has seen banking and telecommunication services operational again which will pave the way for transport as well as movement of goods and services without fear of attack,” the statement has it, adding SAMIM forces “continue to create conditions necessary for a return to normal in Cabo Delgado province”.
Further defence and security progress in Mozambique comes from the US Embassy, which said a hundred Mozambique commandos completed a six-week Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) exercise with the United States last week. It is the second exercise of its kind this year.
The JCET is “contributing to Mozambique’s efforts to prevent the spread of terrorism and strengthening cooperation” between the US and the east African country, the US Embassy in Maputo said.
“The US remains dedicated in assisting Mozambique to combat terrorism and prevent the spread of violent extremism,” US Ambassador to Mozambique Dennis W Hearne said at a closing ceremony to mark the end of the second JCET.
The US Department of Defence plans future JCETs with the Armed Forces of Mozambique (FADM) Fuzileiros and Commandos tasked with countering the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in Mozambique.
In July and August 2021, the US Department of Defence conducted a second round of medical training with members of the FADM in addition to its other training commitment. Sixty soldiers participated in tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) and combat lifesaver (CLS) courses to improve the survival rate of Mozambican soldiers in combat. Medical personnel who participated are certified to give combat lifesaving training to their fellow servicemen. Additionally, FADM members were also part of the regional maritime exercise – Cutlass Express.
The US prioritises respect for human rights, the laws of land warfare, protection of civilians and engagement with civil society a US Embassy, Maputo, statement said. “To this end, security co-operation training programmes incorporate these components into training scenarios. The US Department of Defence remains committed to continuing joint security co-operation with the FADM.”
defenceWeb will on 16 November examine regional and international efforts to counter the violence in Mozambique, through a new virtual conference, with the theme ‘Developing a multi-theatre approach to restoring peace in Cabo Delgado’.