Namibia has committed a cash amount of about N$5.8 million, instead of deploying troops, to help SADC fight an Islamic extremist insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.
Acting head of the multilateral relations and cooperation department in the ministry of international relations Jerobeam Shaanika confirmed yesterday.
Instead of deploying troops to Mozambique, Namibia resolved to contribute financially to the cause, while neighbours Botswana and South Africa have deployed troops.
Rwanda also sent 1 000 troops to help quell the deadly insurgency in Mozambique’s northernmost province.
Shaanika told New Era the SADC council, at its extraordinary virtual meeting held on 28 June, approved an amount of US$7.3 million (about N$107 million) to be funded by additional member states towards the SADC standby force deployment in Mozambique.
“An amount of N$5.8 million is required to be remitted by the Republic of Namibia,” he said.
Meanwhile, the regional body last month approved a US$12 million (about N$177 million) budget for the deployment of the standby force mission for Mozambique.
Earlier this year, military experts from the group recommended that SADC sends about 3 000 soldiers with arms, helicopters, airplanes and naval ships.
Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi on Sunday expressed his gratitude to African countries sending troops to help fight insurgents in the north of the country.
Nyusi, according to AFP, lauded soldiers already sent by Rwanda as regional allies prepared to deploy their own forces.
The World Food Programme has warned of a growing hunger crisis, saying nearly one million people need food aid as a result of the conflict.
The insurgency in northern Mozambique started in Cabo Delgado province in 2017 and has grown rapidly in the past year.
The violence in Cabo Delgado has driven around 826 000 people from their homes and claimed more than 2 000 lives, according to Nyusi.
The rebels have held the port of Mocimboa da Praia for nearly a year and have repeatedly attacked the strategic centre of Palma, forcing the French energy firm Total to suspend its US$20 billion liquefied natural gas project there.
The United States sent 12 special forces officers to help train Mozambique’s military.
The European Union has approved sending a military training mission to build on a programme provided by Portugal, according to a recent report by Cabo Ligado, which reports on the conflict with the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project.
A private military contractor, Dyck Advisory Group, provided helicopter air support to Mozambique’s police, but its contract expired at the start of April and was not renewed.