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Botswana’s President Says Mozambique Already Has the Capacity to Fight Terrorists

Botswana’s President Says Mozambique Already Has the Capacity to Fight Terrorists

The President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said today that Mozambican has managed to develop a military capacity superior to that of the terrorists operating in Cabo Delgado, where the African country has deployed support forces.

The head of state of Botswana today visited the military of that country that are part of the International Military Security Assistance Mission (SAMIM) in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, in the Northern Operational Theatre (TON), accompanied by the Mozambican Minister of National Defence, Cristóvão Chume.

“Since 2021, Mozambique has developed a capacity that surpasses that of the insurgents,” said Masisi on his official account on the X social network, adding that the SAMIM mission “was formed based on very strong ideals, where when a country is under attack and needs help, other countries are obliged to offer assistance.”

On 22 November, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi called for “decisions” on the capacity of the Armed Forces in Cabo Delgado to respond, namely with reservists, in view of the planned withdrawal of foreign forces supporting the terrorist groups on the ground.

“Concrete decisions on the response capacity of the Armed Forces in relation to their action in the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado in the period after the withdrawal of friendly forces from SAMIM and Rwanda,” he appealed, speaking in Maputo at the opening of the XXIV Coordinating Council of the Ministry of National Defence.

“To this end, your reflection should also assess how best to capitalise on the wealth of reservists, committing them directly or indirectly to various missions for the defence of our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And the current reality justifies it,” he added, giving as an example the former combatants of the liberation struggle, who “are still useful, even after 40 years”.

In the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado, Nyusi stressed the importance of “calling on citizens” and society in general to “actively participate in the national defence effort”.

Last August, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit approved the extension of the mission in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, for 12 months, until July next year. According to the final communiqué of the 43rd summit of SADC heads of state and government, the meeting also congratulated the member states, leadership and staff of the Southern African Development Community Military Mission (SAMIM) for their dedication and contribution in support of the mission aimed at achieving peace and security in Cabo Delgado province.

Last July, an evaluation mission proposed the complete withdrawal of SAMIM military personnel in Cabo Delgado by July 2024, noting that the situation in the province “is now calm”, although risks remain.

The analysis of the situation points to the “growing financial stress” of member states and the lack of budget for actions to mobilise communities to support foreign troops” as risks of SAMIM staying for another year.

In addition to SAMIM and the Mozambican government forces, Rwandan troops are fighting the insurgency in Cabo Delgado, operating on the perimeter of the area where the natural gas projects in the Rovuma basin are located.

The province of Cabo Delgado has been facing an armed insurgency for six years, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.

The insurgency has led to a military response since July 2021, with support from Rwanda and SADC, liberating districts near the gas projects, but new waves of attacks have emerged to the south of the region and in neighbouring Nampula province.

The conflict has already displaced one million people, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and caused around 4,000 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.

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