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Mozambique has officially requested military aid from southern African countries to fight the jihadists who have terrorized the gas-rich northeast of the country for more than three years, told AFP on Thursday (July 15th). Defense Minister.
The “SADC intervention request [Communauté de développement de l’Afrique australe], at Cabo Delgado has been formally finalized ”Jaime Neto said by phone, adding that the official document has been signed.
At the end of June, the sixteen countries of the region gathered in Maputo had announced an agreement for the imminent dispatch of troops. Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi had until then been reluctant to any foreign intervention, insisting on the sovereignty of the country.
The timing and number of soldiers who will be sent are not yet known.
Rwanda announced last week to send 1,000 troops to northern Mozambique.
Groups known locally as Al-Chabab (” young people “ in Arabic) have been reigning terror since the end of 2017 in the poor and predominantly Muslim province of Cabo Delgado, bordering Tanzania, torching villages and beheading civilians. Their attacks have been ramping up over the past year.
On March 24, a large-scale surprise attack on the port city of Palma, which left dozens of people dead and tens of thousands displaced, worried the international community.
This attack, one of the most important since the start of the violence in Cabo Delgado, interrupted a gas megaproject of 16.8 billion euros, operated by the French Total and located just a few kilometers from Palma.
The attacks in the northeast of the country killed 2,900 people, according to the NGO ALCED, and forced nearly 800,000 others to flee, creating a serious humanitarian crisis, according to the UN.