In its first official communique since deploying a regional force to Mozambique just on four months ago, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) says it has registered “a number of milestones” including recapturing villages, dislodging terrorists from their bases and seizing weapons and warfare material.
According to the 10 November communique, SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique) actions are contributing to “a relatively secure environment for safer passage of humanitarian support”. People resident in Cabo Delgado have “developed confidence in SAMIM forces, feeling more secure and allowing internally displaced persons to return to their normal lives”.
The green light for SAMIM to be set up and deployed came from an extraordinary SADC summit of heads of state and government in Maputo on 23 June. The multi-national force was the regional bloc’s response to support Mozambique in combatting terrorism and acts of violent extremism.
SAMIM operates under a multi-pronged mandate including neutralising a terrorist threat and restoring security to create a secure environment; strengthening and maintaining peace and security and restoring law and order in Cabo Delgado, the province worst hit by the Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah (ASWJ) insurrection. Humanitarian actions are an important part of the SAMIM mandate with the provision of relief, in co-operation with local and international agencies, to Mozambicans affected by terrorist activities and people forced to flee due to conflict.
SAMIM comprises troops from eight SADC countries. They are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. A thousand-strong contingent from Rwanda is also in the east African country supporting the Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique (FADM).
The communique gives no indication of how long SAMIM is expected to be on the ground and operational. Further evidence of the current open-ended status of the mission came last month when South African president Cyril Ramaphosa authorised a further three month “employment” of South African soldiers and materiel.
A South African – Major General Xolani Mankayi – commands the military force component of SAMIM.
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’.
For must-have sponsorships opportunities and more information about the event, please contact Robert Mace:
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