Two SADC soldiers killed in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique

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Two soldiers with the SADC Mission in Mozambique have been killed.
Two soldiers with the SADC Mission in Mozambique have been killed.
  • The two soldiers were from Tanzania and Botswana.
  • They died in a battle in which the SADC Standby Force killed more than 30 insurgents.
  • Rwanda's Paul Kagame says he has 2 500 men in Cabo Delgado and has not received any funding.

Two soldiers with the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) died in a battle in which more than 30 insurgents were killed earlier this week in the oil and gas-rich Cabo Delgado province.

The soldiers from Tanzania and Botswana, according to the SADC, lost their lives in a battle during which SAMIM also seized weapons and equipment from the Islamic State-linked insurgents on Tuesday.

"Terrorists in excess of 30 were killed and a sizeable number of weapons, ammunition and equipment confiscated," reads the SAMIM statement.

SAMIM identified the fallen soldiers as Sergeant Musa Mpondo, of the Tanzanian contingent, and Lance Corporal Zikamee Kamai, of the Botswana Defence Force. 

The clash between SAMIM and the insurgents occurred in Nkonga village, Nangade District.

The terrorists were identified by SAMIM as having links with the Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah (ASWJ).

ASWJ is a Somalia-based paramilitary group consisting of moderate Sufis opposed to radical Salafism. It was formed in 1991, before the existence of Al-Shabaab.

SAMIM head of mission Professor Mpo Molomo and the force's commander, Major-General Xolani Mankayi, of South Africa, in a joint statement said: "Terrorists in excess of 30 were killed." 

The SADC Mission in Mozambique, composed of 2 000 soldiers from eight SADC countries, was authorised by the Mozambican government on 15 July 2021.

A week earlier, Rwanda, a non-SADC member, sent 1 000 soldiers to Cabo Delgado after reaching an agreement with the Mozambican government.

But, to date, according to Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, during a state of the nation address on Wednesday, the Rwanda Defence Force has 2 500 soldiers in Mozambique at the moment.

"In Mozambique, we sent a total of 2 500 forces, including some that went yesterday [Tuesday, and these include RDF and RNP [Rwanda National Police]," he said.

READ | What is driving violent extremism in Mozambique?

Despite the European Union (EU) pledging a R340-million financial package to support Rwanda's military contingent, no money has been disbursed.

"We didn't receive any support, we share the little we have with our fellow Africans," Kagame said.

The five-year-long conflict in Cabo Delgado has people in affected areas experiencing widespread insecurity and ongoing military operations, damaged infrastructure, tattered local economies, loss of livelihood and human rights violations, including forced recruitment, kidnapping and conflict-related sexual violence.

More than a million have been displaced and thousands reported dead or unaccounted for.

The News24 African Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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