South Africa sends 1,500 troops to Mozambique to fight jihadists

MAPUTOSouth Africa is sending 1,495 troops to Mozambique to help its neighbour battle jihadists wreaking havoc in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province north of the country. Soldiers will be a part of a growing multinational force there.

In a statement, the parliament said President Cyril Ramaphosa had authorised the deployment to support Mozambique in its fight against “acts of terrorism and violent extremists”.

Attacks have escalated in northern Mozambique over the past year, fuelling fears the violence could spill over into neighbouring countries.

Since 2017, the Cabo Delgado region has been battered by a bloody jihadist insurgency that has killed more than 3,100 people, according to conflict data tracker ACLED, and displaced more than 800,000 people.

The three-month mission for South Africa’s force — from July 15 to October 15 — is part of a deal agreed in June by the 16 nations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The operation is expected to cost the country more than 984 million rand, said the parliamentary statement.

South Africa is the latest country in the region to despatch troops to Mozambique after Botswana which sent its soldiers on Monday. Earlier this month, Rwanda sent in a 1,000-strong force.


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