- Uncomfortable with military intervention, prefers dialogue
- Receives support from Tanzania
Mozambican government has continued to give SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security a hard time in relation to military intervention to quell an Islamist insurgency in the Cabo Delgado Province, which is threatening to destabilize the region.
Mozambique President, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, is said to have stood his ground opposing interference by external forces in his country. On Thursday during the SADC Extraordinary Double Troika Summit which was held in Maputo, Nyusi is said to have told SADC leaders that they welcome any help but as long as they do not replace Mozambican forces.
Nyusi, who had a backing from Tanzania, emphasized the need for talks as a means of promoting peace and tranquility and called on SADC to give them time to consult. Tanzania is said to have stated that they do not have any plans to deploy troops to Mozambique because they don’t know whom they will be fighting against.
According to SADC communique, the Summit agreed to convene an extra-ordinary Summit by 20 June 2021 which is to be held in Mozambique again. President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who is the Chairman of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation presented the Technical Team Assessment mission report which was endorsed by ministers last month recommending military intervention in Cabo Delgado province.
Masisi, who is under pressure to ensure that SADC contains the Islamic Insurgents, said the report has assisted them to determine what kind of collective response will be most appropriate to thwart the imminent threat to regional peace. He said the technical Assessment Team has supplied the regional body with a comprehensive report with insights on the threat faced by the region. According to Masisi, SADC is now in a better position to determine the kind of coordination and deployment necessary to stop terrorists in their tracks, before they gain foothold in the entire region.
Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe are pushing for the use of defence pact as they believe the insurgents are a threat to regional peace and security. The technical Assessment Team which comprised Botswana, Angola, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe experts in intelligence, air, ground and maritime military operation was led by Brigadier Mbakiso Mukokomani Botswana Defence Force (BDF). The technical team has recommended that SADC deploys a 3 000-strong robust intervention force comprised of land, air and naval assets to help quell the insurgency.
Political analyst Solly Rankgomo has indicated that the decision to intervene militarily is a clear indicator that the insurgency which began in earnest in October 2017 has long passed the stage where it can be seen as a purely domestic problem to be addressed by Mozambique.
Expert on regional politics, Edache Maisome observed that Maputo seems to be preferring private military solutions, on-African solutions as evidenced by welcoming the US green berets soldiers. “Maputo must accept a holistic strategy from the SADC region, humanitarian assistant and the military intervention because if they don’t do that, they will alienate themselves from the regional block.
He cautioned that running to their former colonial masters Portugal for support is not a good strategy because some locals still resent the Portuguese and called on Maputo to accept the SADC intervention strategy.