The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika is expected to extend the mandate to keep the standby force in Mozambique when it meets on Tuesday in Malawi.
The SADC Mission – comprising mostly of soldiers from South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana – is facing many challenges while fighting insurgency in the Cabo Delgado region; their biggest hurdle – lack of resources and financial support.
The Troika meeting which will be chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to clarify the next steps of the mission.
Ramaphosa says they will be looking at the way forward: “The SADC Troika which I chair is going to meet in Malawi, we are going to look at the progress and developments in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique and thereafter we will have a SADC Summit to evaluate and it’s a straight forward meeting.”
The SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) – which has suffered a several casualties – is facing inadequate resources.
Last week, International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor called on member states to dig deeper into their pockets to the support the mission.
Piers Pigou – a political security analyst says there’s lack of cohesion with the Mozambican Defence Force making it difficult to outline what exactly the SAMIM would need for a successful mission:
“We shouldn’t be surprised that SADC is struggling to put a coherent plan on the table because it’s not responding to a coherent plan. In order to raise funds it needs to have the backing of the Mozambican state as part of a broader strategy. It appears that Mozambique continues to prioritise its relationship with Kigali.”
The presence and deployment of the Rwanda Defence Force to Cabo Delgado has also created hurdles.
There’s an understanding that MDF has better joint operations with Kigali’s deployees.
Pigou says not sharing intelligence must be frustrating and is a critical error: “It has only been able to deploy a very basic framework of assets into the conflict zone and this has acutely undermined its capacity to play the role it could or should be playing in terms of military offences. The challenge goes beyond the military environment and there is a real danger of being sucked into a long term security challenge because the insurgency is far from over.”
There are some gains made by SAMIM including the conquering of two terrorist base camps, the killing of insurgents as well as returning villages back to civilians.
With better multilateral coordination and support – an extension of SAMIM may aid Mozambique reach the goal of rooting out the threat.
The Troika will be followed by a SADC Heads of State Summit on Wednesday in Malawi.