South Africa Deploys 1,495 Soldiers to Mozambique’s Fight Against Insurgents

South Africa has deployed 1,495 members of its military to Mozambique to help the southeast African country fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s authorization of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) comes after the southern African regional bloc (SADC) in June approved the deployment of troops to Mozambique to combat a conflict that began in 2017 and has killed thousands.

In a letter to the speaker of parliament, Ramaphosa said SANDF personnel would be used between July 15 and Oct. 15 at an estimated cost of 984 million rand ($66.3 million).

In the letter. The president specifically authorized the employment of SANDF personnel but did not specify how many of the soldiers would be deployed in Mozambique.

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The conflict in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes and brought a natural gas project spearheaded by Total Energies (TTEF.PA) to a halt.

At the time SADC countries authorised the deployment of the bloc’s standby force, they did not say how many troops would be involved.

Ramaphosa’s letter said South Africa’s military would help Mozambique combat “acts of terrorism and violent extremists that affected the area of Cabo Delgado”.

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