SADC military contingent advance team already in Mozambique

Equipa de avanço do contingente militar da SADC já está em Moçambique

The Ministry of Defense announced today the arrival in the country of an "advance team" to prepare the conditions for the deployment of the SADC military force that will support the fight against armed groups in the northern region.

"there is already this advance team that is working with our teams on the ground for the reception of the force" from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said Defense Ministry spokesman Omar Saranga, speaking to Radio Mozambique.

Saranga assured that when the SADC military personnel disembark, the Mozambican population will take notice, because it is a large contingent.

"When the force arrives, because it is a substantial force, the whole world will see that the force has arrived, because it is not a force that comes to hide, it is a force that comes to support national counter-terrorism efforts," the Defense Ministry spokesman emphasized.

Omar Saranga was responding to information put out by some media outlets that the SADC contingent has already landed at the airport of Pemba, capital of Cabo Delgado province, in the north of the country.

As part of a mandate granted by the SADC heads of state and government, the regional organization will deploy a military contingent to Mozambique to combat the armed groups that have been carrying out attacks in Cabo Delgado province for more than three years.

The number of troops that the organization will send to Mozambique is not publicly known, but military experts had already indicated that the mission should consist of about three thousand men.

In Cabo Delgado, there is already a contingent of one thousand soldiers and police from Rwanda to fight against the armed groups, within the framework of a bilateral agreement between the Mozambican government and the authorities in Kigali.

Armed groups have terrorized Cabo Delgado province since 2017, with some attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.

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