OPINION | Its high time South Africa send troops in Mozambique

Mozambique Palma attacks

Mozambique is in desperate need military support to crush the Islamic insurgency by the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al Jamma’ah  Islamic State (IS) affiliated militia.

It is alleged that some South Africans are feared dead in the most recent attack on the city of Palma in the Northern Province of Cabo Delgado.

There is no better time for South Africa to display and demonstrate military prowess in a victorious campaign against Islamic extremism in the region. SANDF presence in Cabo Delgado will make a bold statement to further protect South Africa’s maritime coastal region from organised crime syndicates and possible IS infiltration.

One South African, 21-year-old Francios Van Niekerk has been reported missing since Wednesday by his Mother. Francios and his Father are subcontractors for a Total gas project in the region. His Mother, Cindy was sobbing and gasping for breath during a media statement with eNCA calling for immediate government intervention for a rescue mission.

 “We have not yet heard any contact from the South African government. Please contact us, make a plan to get to Palma. We need help since Thursday morning”, Cindy lamented.

When the attack on Palma begun, civilians fled to a local hotel where many are still trapped. South African private security companies have begun rescue missions of civilians following the attacks.

The stand offs between the Islamic militants and Mozambimbican forces started in 2017 without success of neutralising the insurgency. The Islamists’ influence is continuously getting out of control as Mozambique has hired mercenary companies from Russia and South Africa who  have failed to wade off the terrorist group.

South African citizens are no longer safe in a neighbouring country. The terrorists have waged a war against humanity whilst sons and daughters of South Africa are also caught up in the onslaught.

News24 has reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa will attend an urgent with the Minister of Defence, Noluthando Mapisa Nqakula on the crisis. The President and Minster of defence must outline and implement a mission to rescue all South Africans trapped in Cabo Delgado and repatriate the bodies of those feared dead.

Various reasons could be cited why South Africa and other SADC members states are not engaging the Islamic insurgence. There is a risk of human rights abuse in the war casualties – President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration would avoid such a scandal at costs considering the ongoing internal politics of South Africa.

The Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) a South African mercenary company is under fire for human rights violation in their operation s in Mozambique. Amnesty International has called for an investigation of indiscriminate killings that were alleged to have been undertaken by the DAG.

However, if the Mozambique continues to directly threaten and undermine the security of South African citizens and their sovereignty – then there need for urgent action. At this point we can only wait for the President and Minister of Defence response to the crisis.

The US embassy in Mozambique recently announced that, US soldiers will be deployed to provide training to the Mozambican forces in strengthening their to strengthen their naval military wing.