Islamist insurgency: Zimbabwe offers Mozambique military expertise

Report by Nigel Pfunde and Elias Mambo

  • At least 30 army officials dispatched to train Mozambique’s military
  • Islamist insurgency have claimed close to 800 lives
  • Mnangagwa fears a full scale military operation may spill into Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE has offered to deploy at least 30 non-commissioned officers to Mozambique to train the neighbouring country’s army amid Islamic terrorist insurgency that has rocked it, Zim Morning Post can reveal.

This follows President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent meeting with his counterpart Filipe Nyusi in Chimoio where both leaders strongly condemned acts of terror being perpetrated in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Manila and Sofala as they undermine efforts towards peace and development in the SADC region.

Military sources told Zim Morning Post that Mnangagwa, who chairs the SADC organ on politics, defence and security is concerned about the current situation which has potential to explode across the border and affect national interests in the border town of Mutare.

When Nyusi met President (Mnangagwa), he requested assistance in training in case of full scale military intervention,” said a source,

The president did not hesitate to offer assistance because he looked at the bigger picture of protecting national interests in the event that violence escalates.

Remember some of the affected area is close to Manicaland border and that is the province where our pipeline (Feruka) passes through.

We also have vast tracts of mineral rich land in that province like Chiadzwa so we have to protects our diamonds.

The Renamo affiliated Islamists might plunder our diamonds to fund their operations,” explained our source.

Army spokesman Alphios Makotore could neither confirm nor deny that Zimbabwe will play a key role in Mozambique.

Such questions should be directed to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. The army does not comment where government to government agreements are being negotiated,” Makotore said.

Zim Morning Post understands that Zimbabwe National Army also deployed an unknown number of ‘reconnaissance’ advance team on a mission to obtain information by visual observation about the activities of Islamic terrorists in Cabo Delgado, Manila and Sofala provinces.

The reconnaissance team was deployed way before the non- commissioned guys went to pave way for them and acclimatize with the geographic characteristics of the provinces under attack,” added our source.

The deployment of soldiers is in line with the two leaders’ commitment to bilateral cooperation in the political, defence and security fields which they vowed to implement positively and within the framework of current legal instruments.

Another senior government official said if violence escalates in Mozambique then the whole sadc will second a combined military force to help Nyusi.

“Zim will not go it alone in the event of a full throttle military operation. Sadc will second a combined military force to help Mozambique,” the official said.