After raising a bit of dust when they announced that SADC Heads of State had resolved to send a standby force mission to Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado, SADC has announced that the regional board will be using its resources to fund the mission.
A follow-up meeting amongst the Council of Minister approved a budget for the deployment. However, a resolve was made that member states are expected to contribute towards the Mozambican mission.
“The Council of Ministers met and deliberated on the budget, and I am happy to say that the budget was approved and SADC will finance this mission from its resources.”
“Additionally, those member states who will be involved in the standby force will be expected to make extra contributions to complement what SADC has provided,” said the Chief Director Multilateral Affairs, Ambassador Raphael Faranisi.
This communication comes after mixed emotions on social media platforms with critics and experts demanding to know who will be financing the operations and which country is expected to provide what resources. Even after the budget was approved, details are still sketchy on how many troops, when and the specific role that the mission will play.
Zimbabwe is amongst the SADC member states who will be part of the mission to Mozambique and there is a strong history between Zimbabwe and Mozambique. A contribution of USD 7 million will be shared by the member states and the deadline for contributions were set to 9 July to ensure that there are no delays in carrying out the mission.
Speaking after the Heads of State extraordinary summit, President Emmerson Mnangagwa took to microblogging site Twitter and said, “When SADC stands together, all our nations are stronger. SADC nations have committed to sending troops to combat extremism in Mozambique.”
There has been a drastic increase in violent militant attacks in the Mozambican northern province of Cabo Delgado since 2017. The conflict lies within the rich off-shore natural gas reserves being explored in the area with multinational companies at the alleged expense of locals. The violent terrorism by Islamic insurgents has resulted in displacement, deaths of hundreds of people including foreigners.