The countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Wednesday approved the extension of the mandate of the organisation’s military mission in Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country, the scene of armed attacks, the Angolan diplomatic office said.
According to the final statement of the 42nd ordinary summit of SADC heads of state and government, which took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, the “report on the security situation in Cabo Delgado province” was analysed.
The organisation “approved the extension of the mandate of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and the relevant related processes,” said the statement from the Angolan Foreign Ministry. The statement does not indicate the deadline for the extension of the mission.
On 14 July, the SADC had approved, at an extraordinary summit, the provisional extension of this mission, leaving a final decision to the leaders’ meeting in Kinshasa. On that occasion, the southern African countries noted that the deployment of the force had achieved “significant achievements and milestones” in the fight against “terrorism”.
“The Summit saluted the Contributing Countries with Personnel (PCC) to SAMIM for their solidarity and sacrifice to support the mission and extended condolences to the governments and families of the nine SAMIM personnel who lost their lives in the theatre of operations,” the note, about Wednesday’s meeting, adds.
Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas but has been terrorised since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State. There are 784,000 internally displaced people due to the conflict, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and around 4,000 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.
Since July 2021, an offensive by government troops with Rwandan support, later joined by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), allowed areas where there was a rebel presence to recover, but their flight has provoked new attacks in other districts used as passage or temporary refuge.