Southern African leaders extend troop deployment in Mozambique

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Southern African leaders on Wednesday agreed to extend the mandate of a regional troop deployment fighting insurgents in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado.

The countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe where they agreed to extend the intervention for an unspecified period to fight the Islamic State-linked insurgents.

“Summit noted the good progress made by the deployment of the SADC Mission in Mozambique and extended its mandate,” read the communique at the end of a two-day extraordinary summit.

SADC agreed in June last year to send troops to help Mozambique counter the insurgency in the northern parts of the country, which began in 2017.

The conflict has claimed thousands of lives and displaced tens of thousands of people.

On Tuesday, Mozambique inked another deal to extend the stay of Rwandan troops in the country for a further six months, to ensure liberated areas are not retaken by the group calling itself al-Shabaab, but which has no known ties to the Somali militants known by the same name.

The violence in the north put a chokehold on Mozambique’s economy, disrupting oil and gas projects worth billions of dollars after international companies were targeted and forced to halt operations.

The regional leaders said the military intervention has been a success and commended Mozambique’s neighbours for contributing their own resources to fight the insurgency.

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