Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

Regional body says progress has been made against rebels in Cabo Delgado province since troops were deployed last year.

The Southern African regional bloc SADC has at a summit extended the mandate of a troop deployment in Mozambique to help the country fight an armed uprising, a statement from the summit showed.

“Summit has taken note of the good progress made since the deployment of the SADC mission in Mozambique and its mandate extension,” the communication read on Wednesday, without saying how long the extension was.

SADC nations and Rwanda decided last June to send more than 3,000 troops to help Mozambique respond to an armed uprising in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, chairperson of the SADC body on politics, defense and security cooperation, said on Tuesday that the deployment of the SADC mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) showed certain results.

“Significant progress has been made since the deployment,” Ramaphosa said in the opening speech at the two-day talks in the Malawian capital, Lilongwe.

“The security situation in Cabo Delgado is improving, which has allowed some internally displaced people to return to their homes and resume their normal lives,” he said.

Regional forces, which operated with Mozambican troops, helped create “safe passage” to bring humanitarian aid into areas affected by violence, he said.

The mission was initially deployed in July, but its mandate was extended indefinitely in October.

Cabo Delgado, a hospitable province bordering Tanzania, has been hit by attacks since 2017.

At least 3,500 people were killed and about 820,000 fled their homes.

Horrors included massacres, beheadings, the burning of houses and mass abductions – especially of girls.

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