Angola is the latest southern African country to be sending soldiers into Mozambique, and has agreed to deploy 20 officers and a transport aircraft to Cabo Delgado as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission supporting Mozambique’s military against insurgents.
Angola’s parliament on 27 July approved the move after President Joao Lourenco requested troops be sent abroad.
The deployment to Cabo Delgado will last three months and cost the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) approximately $575 000. Francisco Pereira Furtado, the Angolan minister of state and head of the security house of the president of the republic, told reporters that the Angolan mission will join the SADC forces on 6 August.
National Assembly Deputy Benedito Daniel said the move is in line with Angola’s commitments as an SADC member. The SADC assistance force, approved last month, is mandated to restore peace and security and contain a possible expansion of the Islamic State in the SADC region.
According to the Mozambican Defence Ministry, in addition to South Africa and Botswana, countries such as Tanzania and Angola have confirmed the deployment of forces.
Botswana officially dispatched nearly 300 troops to Mozambique on Tuesday, the first SADC country to officially do so. President Mokgweetsi Masisi said Botswana Defence Force soldiers would work with Mozambique’s armed forces and soldiers sent by other members of the SADC to help end the insurgency in Cabo Delgado.
The SADC mission in Mozambique will be led by South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Major General Xolani Mankayi, who is in Mozambique as part of an advance deployment that began last week.
South Africa on 23 July committed up to 1 495 members of the SANDF to support Mozambique “to combat the acts of terrorism and violent extremists that affected the area of Cabo Delgado Province.” They will be deployed from 15 July to 15 October at a cost of R984 million.
These troops will join 1 000 soldiers non-SADC member Rwanda sent to Mozambique earlier this month under a bilateral agreement.
Reports suggest Rwandan soldiers are making headway against the insurgents. Rwanda’s The New Times on 27 July reported that Mozambican and Rwandan forces had overrun one of the insurgents’ main bases in Cabo Delgado. The base, in the region of Auasse, on the border between Mocimboa da Praia and Mueda districts, was apparently captured on 26 July.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Sunday said that Mozambican forces had seized terrorist positions at Diaca, Roma and Nantili.
According to The New Times, Mozambican and Rwandan units are still pursuing the insurgents.