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Cabo Delgado

Inside SADC Standby Force Ready For Deployment In Mozambique




Peace and security are necessary preconditions for sustainable development and deeper regional integration.

In this regard, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) continues to place top priority on developing and strengthening cooperation among the 16 Member States.

One joint initiative in the area of peace and security is the SADC Standby Force, or Brigade, which was established by SADC Heads of State and Government through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Lusaka, Zambia in August 2007.

The SADC Standby Force is a regional, multidimensional, peace-support operations capability established under the framework of the African Standby Force (ASF).

This represents a commitment of purpose that ensures a collective approach to defence and security, protecting people and safeguarding the stability of the region.

The Standby Force operates as a tool of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and receives its direction and guidance from the SADC Committee of Chiefs of Defence staff and the Committee of SADC Police Chiefs to provide peace-building efforts in the region.

These peace-building efforts include post-conflict disarmament and demobilisation and humanitarian assistance in conflict areas and in areas impacted by major natural disasters such as drought and floods.

The Force is made up of multidisciplinary contingents of the Military, Police and Civilians who are stationed in their countries of origin and ready for deployment when necessary.

Other support mechanisms could be in the form of logistical and medical services.

The SADC Standby Force does not actually have a physical presence as the Force is constituted when the need arises.

The size of the regional Force is also not fixed but depends on the nature of the assignment as well as what individual Member States are able to contribute.

For every mission, SADC appoints a Force Commander, Commissioner of Police and Head of the Civilian Component to lead the operation.

The SADC Standby Force is deployed on the authority of the SADC Summit, ensuring that SADC leaders have the final say on the deployment and objectives.

In preparation for its responsibility, the SADC Standby Force conducts various drills and exercises such as Exercise UMODZI held in 2018 and Exercise AMANI Africa II in 2015, and became fully operational in 2017.

Some of the preparatory work for the Exercises is conducted at the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC) located in Harare, Zimbabwe which hosts Scenario Development Workshops and Integrated Exercise Planning Courses.

These courses are aimed at strengthening the Exercise planning by sharing essential skills and techniques such as mastering the appropriate attitudes required for effective coordination of integrated multi-dimensional Exercises.

The RPTC also delivers training for peacekeeping practitioners from the SADC region and other parts of Africa, and has participated in the preparation and running of all major peacekeeping exercises conducted in the region.

The RPTC contributes to the core objectives of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, as one of the main implementing entities in training for military, police and civilian components for peace support missions in the region, and also conducts capacity-building courses for regional and national mediation to improve and strengthen domestic mediation capacities in SADC Member States.

According to the MoU establishing the SADC Standby Force, the SADC Heads of State and Government agreed on the need to establish a main logistics depot in one of the Member States.

The depot will provide storage, inspection and maintenance facilities for equipment and materials for all components of the SADC Standby Force.

The construction of the SADC Regional Logistics Depot is progressing well in the Rasesa village on the outskirts of Gaborone in Botswana.

Major equipment and other materials for the depot will be contributed by Member States.

In this regard, the main aim of the depot is to provide stocks on a just in time basis to meet the rapid deployment capability of the SADC Standby Force to support regional peace operations.

SADC has also adopted a Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2015, intended to strengthen the regions peace and security architecture by enabling a common approach.

This collective approach includes the sharing of information on suspected terrorists; enacting and reviewing legislation at national level on preventing and combating terrorism; and strengthening capacity of the Financial Intelligence Units.

The SADC Standby Force is one of the building blocks of the ASF, a continental peacekeeping force established by the African Union (AU) and comprising Military, Police and Civilian components that are on standby in their regions of origin and available to the AU for deployment in times of need.

The ASF, which became operational in January 2016, draws from Africa’s five sub-regions of North Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa.

The SADC Standby Force successfully assumed its rotational leadership of the ASF on 1 January 2019 for six months up to the end of June 2019, accepting the primary responsibility of being the first responder to conflict situations on the continent by providing a rapid deployment capability.


Cabo Delgado

Rwanda Army Chief Of Staff Visists Mozambique



Rwanda Defence Force Army Chief of Staff (ACOS), Lt Gen Mubarakh Muganga is on a 4-day visit to Rwandan Forces deployed in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.

Upon arrival at Mocimboa da Praia yesterday, the ACOS was welcomed by the Joint Force Commander, Maj Gen Innocent Kabandana who briefed him about the progress of military operations against terror groups in Cabo Delgado.

Lt Gen Muganga met Rwandan troops and commended them for the good work done since their arrival in Mozambique.

He further conveyed a message of appreciation from the RDF Commander-in-Chief, President Paul Kagame, for the security achievements gained since the Force’s arrival in Cabo Delgado.

The ACOS urged the Forces to keep the momentum and continue to be good ambassadors of Rwanda.

Rwandan troops in collaboration with Mozambican Forces fought and dislodged the terror groups from several towns including their main bases in MOCIMBOA DA PRAIA and other localities that include among others AWASSE, PALMA, QUIONGA, CHINDA, MBAU, MAPALANGANHA, TETE, NJAMA, QUELIMANE and most recently SIRI I and SIRI II considered to be their strongholds.

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Cabo Delgado

Know Why Young Mozambicans Join Terrorism Groups



Young Mozambicans have for the past decades lacked means of survival and thus ended up recruited into terrorist organisations, General António Hama Thay revealed on Thursday.

Gen. António Hama Thay is an official in the Mozambican military (currently in the reserve). He has held various positions in the Mozambican government, including chief of the air force.

The General explained this Thursday, in Maputo, that the absence of alternatives for survival, coupled with the fact that the different groups that were resettled in the northern region of Cabo Delgado could be treated differently is a factor that determined the involvement of young Mozambicans in the group of extremists, who cause terror in that part of the country.

He noted that since, after the resettlement process, some groups that lived off fishing were in places where they could not carry out activities that they were acustomed to.

According to Hama Thay, the investing companies were not able to create a framework for the integration of local youth in the projects, limiting themselves only to bringing in labour from other regions of the country, even recruiting for professions considered elementary such as carpentry, electricity , plumbing and cooking.

Hama Thay was speaking at a lecture on the theme “Terrorism: Conceptual Analysis and its Historicity”, at the launching ceremony of the cycle of lectures on terrorism as a global phenomenon carried out by the UEM.

As a solution, the general considers it essential to create additional programs aimed at young people in Cabo Delgado, highlighting the affected districts and considering mining as an integral part and providing the marketing of minerals at competitive prices, as well as evaluating the possibility of creating more mines with the participation of young people.

Furthermore, young people should be prioritized in economic activity based on youth entrepreneurship. For this, the General says that it will be necessary to invest massively in training aimed at young people in projects that meet the expectations of young people.

“In view of what can be extracted as knowledge about terrorism, it is time for Higher Education Institutions to create a chair on this subject,” he stressed.

The cycle of lectures now launched aims to help understand the phenomenon of terrorism in general, and of our country in particular, with a view to providing subsidies that help to better understand this phenomenon, thus contributing to the national debate on terrorism, with a view to creating a more structured knowledge on the subject.

António Hama Thay holds a Doctorate and Post-Doctorate in Business Management and Administration from the Commonwealth Open University. Since 2013, he has been a professor at the Faculty of Economics at UEM.

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Cabo Delgado

Rwanda’s Dominant War Communication ‘Worries’ Mozambicans



Rwanda’s surgical media machinery has dwarfed other media and government communictions of SADC member states in reporting about the ongoing war operations against terrorists in Cabo Delgado.

According to details on ground, Mozambicans are heavily relying on Rwandan press to get prompt updates on war in Cabo Delgado.

Analysts say lack of communication is a very worrying issue in Mozambique.

“The Mozambican Ministries of Interior and National Defense must quickly reflect on how Mozambique and the international community should know what is happening in Cabo Delgado, so that it is not just Rwandans who are talking about the fight against terrorism in that province,” argue analysts.

At the moment, what is known about the situation in the northern operational theatre is through the Rwandan press, and very little is heard from Mozambique, and for journalist Fernando Lima, this is due to the fact that “there is a very rusty communication system on the Mozambican side.”

Lima added that this is being reflected now, in Mozambique “in a situation where it has to be confronted with another communicational machine that works, completely, in different parameters”.

One-sided narrative

That analyst argued that the Ministries of Interior and National Defense “have to reflect on how they want Mozambicans and the international community to know what is happening in Cabo Delgado, otherwise, “we will only have a unilateral narrative by Rwanda with Mozambique in the wake of Rwandan communication.”

“The lack of communication is a very worrying issue in Mozambique; there has to be a deep reflection on this”, considers, in turn, the analyst Moisés Mabunda, recalling that the recent disagreement between Maputo and Pretoria over the participation of Rwanda in the conflict military in Cabo Delgado was due to lack of information.

Mabunda stressed that, due to a lack of information on the Mozambican side, one gets the impression that the Rwandans are alone in the front line.

However, Mozambican Defense Minister Jaime Neto recently said that Mozambicans are also on the front line.

“The forces of Rwanda and our forces have already engaged in combat several times, and we think the work they are doing is very good,” he said.

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