The primary task of South African military personnel in Cabo Delgado is to end an Islamist insurgency. At the same time the South African component of the multi-national force is part and parcel of an extensive civil military co-operation (CIMIC) effort.
SA National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel from at least two services – the army and military health – are active alongside their Mozambican colleagues from the Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique (FADM) and police in supporting civilian rehabilitation. This takes the form of bridging the gap between civilians and the military, often a major task thanks to intimidation and even violence by ASWJ (Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah) extremists, to rebuild trust.
Soldiers and other musterings based in Macomia “continuously work” with local forces to provide basic supplementary commodities to those needing them at a safe house and primary school. Other activities include awareness programmes by the medical support team. The CIMIC team works with other stakeholders to create continuity and longevity for a systematic redress of poor living conditions of people in Cabo Delgado, specifically those in Macomia district, reports Captain Anelisiwe Tamela of SANDF Joint Operations.
CIMIC is defined as providing an interface between the military component and the political, humanitarian development, human rights and rule of law dimensions of complex peace operations.
She adds the SANDF, as part of the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) supporting the East African country in efforts to oust ASWJ, also puts effort into creating conditions necessary for a safe return to normal life in Cabo Delgado.