Zimbabwe and its Southern Africa counterparts do not have the financial capacity to deploy their armies into Mozambique’s troubled Cabo Delgado region to help flush out ISIS-linked jihadist insurgents, Senior Researcher with the Institute for Security Studies Liesl Louw-Vaudran has said.
Louw-Vaudran said this in a wide-ranging interview on OpenParly’s The Insight with Bernard.
She said the only alternative was a United Nations resolution which she said was likely to be given, resulting in international intervention not independent armies from the region.
“I think for Zimbabwe and most of the other SADC nations if it is now a military operation you would have to have the United Nations (UN) resolutions and the African Union involved so that you can get financing from outside,” said Louw-Vaudran
“None of our militaries, even South Africa is too weak and underfunded to actually sustain that kind of operation.
“We hear Zimbabwe is quite ready to assist but it will definitely need financing for such a force from other sources.
“The UN Security Council has a mandate for global peace and security so it will come down eventually to a UN resolution.”
Ticking Time Bomb
SADC had been sitting on the time bomb since 2017 when the terrorists first appeared, abducting, beheading and displacing thousands of villagers in the oil-rich region.
An alarm was internationally raised after the group captured the town of Palma, a few kilometres from the oil giant’s US$60 billion investment, the largest oil-related investment in Africa.
Operations were shut and subsequently over 700 000 villagers from around the province fled the region according to Refugees International.
She added: “After this here was a sense of urgency because of the oil companies exploiting the liquid petroleum and South Africa specifically has investments in that region.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa have shown interest in sending in their own forces to flush out the insurgents, but Mozambique’s Filipe Nyusi has been reluctant to accept help, maintaining he can do it himself.
According to Vaudran South Africa is very much concerned about its investments in the region while Zimbabwe fears encroachment into its territory.
A SADC troika meeting on the situation there produced a vague outcome which pledged technical support without clarity on what that meant or whether plans to send in soldiers had been considered.
Southern Tanzania and Malawi are the ones at immediate risk Vaudran said.
“The countries in SADC who are most at risk are Tanzania because they have largely managed to fight terrorism quite successfully in their country, the south of Tanzania and Malawi as well,” said Louw-Vaudran. -Openparlyzw