There’s still room for Mozambique to negotiate: Prof Khadiagala

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Head of the Department of International Relations at Wits University, Professor Gilbert Khadiagala, says it is not too late for the Mozambican government to initiate dialogue with the militants in the north of the country.

On Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa and other leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security met in Maputo, Mozambique, to discuss recommendations of the regional bloc’s technical committee’s recommendations.

The committee assessed the threat of the insurgency to the SADC region in April.

SADeC leaders agree to deploy reinforcements in Cabo Delgado:

In the past, Mozambique has rejected regional intervention.

The attacks in Palma, in which one South African man was killed, and the SADC extraordinary summit that followed marked a turning point.

Prof Khadiagala says there’s still room for negotiations.

“That conflict is only three years old. The Mozambicans really have the capacity to begin to look for a political solution to that problem. I don’t think a military solution would help very much. So, it’s not too late to engage the rebels and talk to them. Indeed, it is something that I think is the responsibility of the Mozambican government and they should do it.”

Special SADC Troika summit

In September, Security analyst, Dr Guy Lamb, said he does not believe that the input of the special SADC Troika summit will make a difference to the volatile situation in the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.

The meeting was to receive a report from a team sent to Mozambique to assess the security situation and identify ways to support the country after insurgents attacked the coastal town of Palma, displacing tens of thousands of people and stalling a $60 billion natural gas project.

Outcomes of Extraordinary Double Troika SADC Summit on Mozambique:


Dr Lamb said there is no immediate threat to the region.

“I mean the postponement is understandable given the kind of dynamics involved about Botswana and South Africa. Presidents have other important priorities at the moment, but Cabo Delgado is going nowhere but of cause for a number of weeks, what happens in Palma, the violence and escalation of conflict. Movement by the insurgents there but the decision regarding employing the number of troops from SADC still has an issue that needs to be considered,” Dr Lamb said.

Video: Institute of Security Studies concerned over the growing insurgency in Mozambique