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S. Africa to use 1,495 military personnel to help Mozambique fight insurgents

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the use of 1,495 members of the military to help neighbour, Mozambique, fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency, parliament said on Wednesday.

The use of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) comes after the southern African regional bloc (SADC) last month approved the deployment of troops to Mozambique to combat a conflict which began in 2017 and has killed thousands.

Ramaphosa said the SANDF personnel would be used between July 15 and Oct. 15 at an expected cost of 984 million rand ($66.3 million), a letter sent to the speaker of parliament showed.

In the letter. Ramaphosa referred specifically to authorising the employment of SANDF members and did not spell out how many of those would be soldiers deployed on Mozambican soil.

The conflict in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province has displaced hundreds of thousands and brought a natural gas project led by French energy company Total Energies (TTEF.PA) to a grinding halt.

At the time SADC countries authorised the deployment of the bloc’s standby force, they did not say how many troops would be involved.

Ramaphosa’s letter said South Africa’s military would help Mozambique combat “acts of terrorism and violent extremists that affected the area of Cabo Delgado”.

Emmanuel Yashim

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective.A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour.The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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