MAPUTO-(MaraviPost)-The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Mozambique this week rejected MDF troops to assist in fighting against Islamic Militants in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region.
This is the first time for the history of the country for Malawi soldiers to be rejected on international duty.
Spokesperson for the Malawi Defence Force Major Calvin Mleremba told Zodiac that Malawi will not be part of the SADC team was expected to leave on Thursday, July 15, 2021.
Mleremba said the decision has been made as Malawi has not been included to be part of those sending troops.
At the end of a one-day summit in Maputohas last month which also attended by Malawi leader Lazarus Chakwera SADC Executive Secretary Stergomena Tax said all countries agreed to deploy troops to Mozambique to help it tackle escalating violence in the country’s north.
Nearly 3,000 people have been killed and almost 800,000 – half of whom are children – have been forced from their homes in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province since the conflict began in 2017.
The 16-member bloc of southern African countries had “approved” the deployment of a “Standby Force in support of Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado”.
The standby force is part of a regional defence pact that allows military intervention to prevent the spread of conflict.
The communique after the meeting of the bloc’s leaders provided no further details on how many troops would be involved, when they would be deployed or what their role would be, adding only that humanitarian aid must be channelled to those most in need.
The decision brings to an end months of deliberation and disagreement among the bloc about what is needed to stem the violence.
While some members, like South Africa, have pushed for military action, others were reportedly more reticent. Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi himself has historically been resistant to foreign boots on the ground.
Attacks by an armed group known locally as al-Shabab, whose origins, analysts say, are steeped in local political, religious and economic discontent, have steadily increased in the Cabo Delgado province since October 2017.
Mozambique has not been comfortable with Malawi on peace making mission dates during Kamuzu era and Samorae Michel.