Government approves deployment of nearly 1,500 troops to fight Mozambique insurgents
SANDF personnel will be deployed between July and October at an expected cost of nearly R1bn
President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the use of 1,495 members of the military to help neighbour Mozambique fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency, parliament said on Wednesday.
The use of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) comes regional bloc Southern African Development Community (Sadc) in June approved the deployment of troops to Mozambique to combat a conflict that began in 2017 and has killed thousands.
Ramaphosa said the SANDF personnel would be used between July 15 and October 15 at an expected cost of R984m, a letter sent to the speaker of parliament showed.
In the letter, Ramaphosa referred specifically to authorising the employment of SANDF members and did not spell out how many of those would be soldiers deployed on Mozambican soil.
The conflict in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province has displaced hundreds of thousands and brought a natural gas project led by French energy company Total Energies to a halt.
At the time, Sadc states authorised the deployment of the bloc's standby force, they did not say how many troops would be involved.
SA’s military would help Mozambique combat “acts of terrorism and violent extremists that affected the area of Cabo Delgado”, the letter stated.
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