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Mozambique Not Yet Ready to Defend Itself Without International Troops – Analysts Say

Mozambique Not Yet Ready to Defend Itself Without International Troops – Analysts Say

Analysts Fernando Lima, Moisés Mabunda and Samuel Simango believe that the latest results of the national troops show a lack of preparation to face terrorist attacks without the support of international forces.

After terrorists attacked and occupied the Macomia area in Cabo Delgado last Friday, Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi emphasised the need for Mozambican troops to prepare to take care of the nation without outside help.

Fernando Lima explained that the fact that the attack was preceded by the departure of the SADC Military Forces was a test for the national troops to show whether or not they are up to the task of dealing with terrorist attacks, and the fact that Macomia was held hostage for 24 hours shows some weakness.

Lima also said that politically and in terms of terrain, the Mozambican forces are trying to show that they have the capacity to defend their own territory, but the results are not satisfactory. ‘It’s not a good sign and it’s not good international news when an important territory like Macomia is attacked soon after the withdrawal of foreign forces.’

Samuel Simango, for his part, analyses the attack on Macomia in two dimensions: the political narrative and the military narrative. The political narrative, according to Simango, shows that the armed forces are in a position to secure the spaces left by the international forces, but the military narrative leads to the conclusion that some preparation is still needed.

The military narrative, continued the analyst, also leads us to conclude that our forces’ preparation time to occupy the spaces left behind was not sufficient, or, strategically, the commands were not effective.

‘It was already known that the South African troops and SAMIM forces were going to leave those spaces, so we should have been prepared. I think the terrorists took advantage of the moment when the national troops reoccupied the area to make their incursion. We have to shape the weaknesses of our state so that the terrorists don’t feel confident about carrying out new attacks.’

Moisés Mabunda adds that the latest terrorist attack is worrying, but it is premature to say that SAMIM troops should be withdrawn.

‘There was an indication that these attacks were expected, but we still haven’t been able to cope with them, which means there is a lot of work to be done.’

Among various challenges, the analysts agree that it cannot yet be said that the Mozambican troops are failing, after all we come from a past in which Quissanga was occupied for a fortnight, and Macomia for 24 hours, so obviously there has been some progress.

O País

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