It appears that South African-made armoured personnel carriers (APCs) have made their way to Mozambique as part of efforts to control the violent insurgency in the northern Cabo Delgado province.
A photo emerged online in late November showing a Marauder at what appears to be a port in Mozambique. It was fitted with a turret-mounted machinegun. According to local media, the type will be used in the fight against insurgents.
Moz 24 Horas reported that five Marauders arrived in November to reinforce landward operations against Islamist insurgents in the north of the country. The publication also reported that two light tanks had been delivered from South Africa.
The 17 tonne Marauder, manufactured by Paramount Group, can accommodate up to 12 personnel including two crew, and offers STANAG Level 3 protection. Its hull can withstand a direct explosion of 8 kg of TNT. Other sub-Saharan African operators include the Republic of Congo and Malawi. Elsewhere, Paramount has sold Marauders to Mali, Nigeria, Kazakhstan (as the Arlan) and Singapore (as the Belrex).
When contacted for comment on the Mozambican Marauders, a Paramount spokesperson told defenceWeb that: “As you are aware, companies that operate within the defence and aerospace industries are restricted from commenting or providing details of contracts due to strict confidentiality agreements and issues of national security. Any comments on such issues would be very irresponsible and could compromise the national security of countries and put the lives of many security personnel and civilians at risk. Any queries relating to such details need to be addressed to the relevant government. It is also important to note that we provide solutions and supply equipment to sovereign governments only.”
South African companies have been supplying equipment and expertise to help the Mozambican government fight the Cabo Delgado insurgency, with Dyck Advisory Group leading the charge. They have been using aircraft provided by Ultimate Aviation, amongst others. Dyck Advisory Group lost a Gazelle helicopter in April, which was apparently shot down by insurgents it was targeting at the time – a Bat Hawk microlight crashed in June in an apparent accident.
Various aircraft have been observed in Mozambique supporting private military contractors, including a UH-1 Huey, Cessna Caravan, Bell Long Ranger, Diamond DA 42 and CADG Helix. The airpower has helped fight the insurgency but was not enough to stop insurgents capturing Mocimboa da Praia in August.
The South African government has approved the transfer of weaponry to Mozambique, but has not disclosed what or how much. In June the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) told Parliament that South Africa supplied weapons to Mozambique but did not disclose any further details. “We couldn’t say no to Mozambique as it is a legitimate government under attack by terrorists,” committee chair, Jackson Mthembu, Minister in the Presidency said, referring to the insurgency in Cabo Delgado province.