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Southern African bloc extends troop deployment in Mozam...

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Southern African bloc extends troop deployment in Mozambique to fight insurgency -communique

A large group of insurgents — presumed to be from the Isis-affiliated Al Sunnah wa Jama’a (ASWJ) group, attacked the town of Mocimboa da Praia in the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado in March 2020. (Photo: Supplied)
By Reuters
05 Oct 2021 1

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Southern African regional bloc SADC agreed at a summit on Tuesday to extend a troop deployment in Mozambique to help the government fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency.

“Summit approved the extension of the SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique) to continue with offensive operations against terrorists and violent extremists,” the bloc said in a communique after top officials met in Pretoria, South Africa.

The SADC troop deployment was initially for three months and due to end on Oct. 15. The communique did not say how long the extension was approved for.

Southern African nations agreed in June to send troops to help Mozambique respond to the insurgency, which is concentrated in the northern province of Cabo Delgado and has claimed thousands of lives since beginning in 2017.

Rwanda, which is not a SADC member, began deploying soldiers in Mozambique a month later.

The fighting brought a $20 billion natural gas project led by French energy company TotalEnergies to a halt, after fighters attacked the town of Palma in March.

The communique on Tuesday said three soldiers on the SADC mission to Mozambique had lost their lives, from Botswana and Tanzania. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf and Alexander Winning; Editing by Chris Reese and Bill Berkrot)

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  • I am not surprised at this development. One of the numerous fantastic take-homes from Stephen McGown’s “Six Years with Al Qaeda”, and watching interviews with him, is that these guys (Islamic insurgents) are very patient. Because of their tribal way of life in tough terrain, they are used to hardships. This has rendered them a resilient lot. I imagine them to be like the Rekkies of the old days – the bush warfare in old Rhodesia, Angola, and so forth. So, the softer, cushy “West” needs to be forever vigilant lest we’re caught out while “asleep”. These guys use unstable countries and situations to invade (the age-old divide and conquer). This begs the question – since it is now at the stage of an insurgency in Mozambique, hopefully it is not too late? There are many tangents to this saga, this being only one, as I see it. Take Afghanistan for example – did they see it coming?

    McGown’s story – worth a read; an excellent picture portrayed of the inner workings of Al Qaeda in this case, through his own experience – a humanistic perspective, from all sides, including his own. Reading his book lead me to a greater understanding and compassion for the other side. I am reminded that this particular manifestation of Islam (fundamentalism) is a misplaced and distorted belief system, which does not represent the whole of Islam. Nevertheless it is one, just like some of our own belief systems in the”West”, such as Imperialism in the name Capitalism and Progress, for one. The substratum of all this is about economics in the end – the haves and the have-nots – another story for another day.

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