The Southern African Development Community (SADC) deployment to troubled Cabo Delgado – on the ground for a year now – has had its term extended for an interim period pending an August review of the mission.
The review will be the responsibility of an Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government scheduled for 17 and 18 August in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The interim extension of the SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique) was approved earlier this week at a virtual meeting of the SADC Extraordinary Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government. It was chaired by Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera with the presidents of DRC (Felix Tshisekedi), Mozambique (Filipe Nyusi) and South Africa (Cyril Ramaphosa) present.
According to a SADC communique the summit was given a progress report on the execution of the SAMIM mandate and operations to date since deploying in a regional response to combat terrorism and violent extremism in particularly northern Mozambique.
Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia are SADC countries currently contributing troops and materiel to the regional bloc mission with an independent thousand strong deployment of Rwandan troops also assisting Mozambican forces.
South Africa boosted its numbers on the ground deploying Combat Team Alpha (CTA) last month. The infantry and parabat contingent is part of Operation Vikela the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) name for this tasking.
Ramaphosa as SANDF Commander-in-Chief used his executive authority in April to extend Op Vikela for a further 12 months.