The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on the South African Democratic Community (SADC) to deploy military forces to Mozambique, as the Cabo Delgado region in the neighbouring continues being under siege from islamist forces.
SADC is set to convene a special meeting in the early hours of Thursday, 8 April 2021. Militants invaded Palma on 24 March and ended up killing Adrian Nel, a South African national who was among dozens of people who had attempted to flee.
The meeting has been called by Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who is also the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security. President Cyril Ramaphosa will be in attendance.
The DA has said military intervention is the only possible step to stop the violence and restore security.
“The DA therefore calls on the South African delegation to the upcoming meetings this week to push for a troop surge, comprised of all SADC countries, and that Heads of State use this opportunity to finalise the deployment of SADC forces,” said the DA’s shadow defence minister Kobus Marais.
Mozambique attack: SADC must seek aid from US and Europe
The opposition party has also said that South Africa alone cannot foot the bill for the costs of the military deployment to Mozambique and wants SADC to reach out to the international community for further assistance. The Mozambique attack has sparked a wave of condemnation and prompted calls for continental bodies to intervene.
“It cannot be expected that the South Africa solely pay the cost for a military operation as we do not have the money nor the capacity. SADC should therefore also resolve to seek the support of the US and Europe to provide much needed additional funding and emergency military equipment”
DA’s shadow defence minister Kobus Marais
According to the DA, a SADC force, fully supported and funded by the AU and other partners, will have the necessary capacity to engage in rapid combat intervention to stop the insurgency by armed rebel forces in Mozambique.
“The problems in Mozambique have the potential to destabilise the entire Southern African region. SADC is mandated and authorised, to prevent this from turning into a catastrophe. SADC needs to intervene now to save Mozambique and ensure stability for the region,” the DA said.