Mozambique insurgents dare SADC forces to follow them into the bush | News24

SANDF troops journey alongside a mud street within the Maringanha district in Pemba, Mozambique.

  • Insurgents have dared SADC forces in Mozambique to observe them into the bush for motion.
  • Crisis Group says SADC forces are ill-equipped to struggle a guerilla conflict.
  • Arms are smuggled to insurgents utilizing public transport.

On December 15 final yr, Islamic extremists in Nova Zambezia, Macomia district, beheaded a pastor and instructed his spouse to take his head to the police with a message: “While you [government forces] are walking on tarred roads, real men [insurgents] are in the woods.”

This was a thinly veiled message to the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) working within the space.

In November and December, the SAMIM registered appreciable victory, killing insurgents and raiding their bases in Cabo Delgado. 

The assaults compelled insurgents to retreat to the bush in guerrilla teams.

READ | Insurgents planning more deadly attacks in Cabo Delgado, SADC warned

The Crisis Group – a suppose tank that tracks indicators of social battle in Southern Africa in its assessment of the final three weeks in northern Mozambique – stated the beheading of the pastor was a propaganda message.

“The content of the message calls to mind the core tactical problem faced by Mozambican and allied forces for the vast majority of the conflict,” the group’s assessment stated. 

The message from the insurgents additionally uncovered SAMIM’s shortcomings: 

…their capacity to function is severely restricted as soon as they depart primary roads as a result of their tools and coaching is constructed round armour relatively than infantry or air assault capabilities. By making the case that the tactical dynamic has not modified, the insurgents are arguing to a civilian viewers that international intervenors haven’t altered the basics of the battle regardless of Rwandan successes in Mocimboa da Praia and Palma districts.

As a present of energy, the insurgents working from the bush ambushed SAMIM forces within the east of Chai within the northern Macomia district on the evening of December 19, ensuing within the loss of life of a South African soldier.

The Crisis Group in its assessment additionally means that the insurgents have help inside communities they function, with some civilians helping them in transporting arms.

“On 20 December, police stopped a bus carrying passengers from Nampula to Pemba just outside of Nampula, after receiving a tip that a group of passengers refused to open their bags when asked by bus company employees. Police searched the bags and found firearms.

“No particulars have emerged concerning the extent of the cargo or the kinds of weapons concerned, however one witness reported that the passengers carrying the baggage informed police as they had been being arrested that others had transported weapons alongside the identical route earlier than,” the report acknowledged.

Since the insurgency started in 2017, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) says there have been 1 111 instances of organised political violence, 3 627 reported fatalities from organised political violence, and 1 587 reported fatalities from organised violence focusing on civilians.

Speaking to SADC heads of state and authorities in Malawi on the SADC Extraordinary Summit on Mozambique, SADC chairperson, a president of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, stated member states ought to incorporate youth empowerment within the reconstruction of Cabo Delgado.

This could be a option to frustrate rebel recruitment drives. Disgruntled youths are simply recruited as fighters.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The tales produced by the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that could be contained herein don’t replicate these of the Hanns Seidel Foundation. 

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