In a report published on Friday, June 11, the International Crisis Group (ICG) thinks that the Mozambican government, hitherto unwilling to accept any foreign intervention, should accept “measured” military support to fight the jihadists terrorizing the province of Cabo Delgado, in the northern part of country, for more than three years.
President Filipe Nyusi has so far refused any idea of foreign military intervention, including SADC, the regional organization, for an issue of sovereignty.
According to ICG experts, a massive deployment of foreign troops could really drive other jihadists to come and fight alongside the Mozambican shebabs, an international intervention. However, the ICG explains that targeted military assistance is absolutely necessary.
Today, Maputo is really calling for a private South African paramilitary group “but it is not enough”, explains Dino Mahtani, Africa’s head of the ICG. “An appropriate level of military support is needed to pressure these groups to consider capitulation. But also to offer them a way out, he continues, encouraging dialogue with the rebels, especially on amnesty.
At the moment, the Mozambican president is only asking for material and financial support, which he finds difficult to obtain due in particular to the risk of embezzlement. The elite training of the national army by the United States and Portugal is still ongoing.
The ICG also recommends that the Mozambican government invest in this poor region to “provide food” to local people who may be tempted to join the armed group.
The Government of Mozambique is reluctant to accept foreign troops into its territory. He prefers to ask for financial and material support, to deal with his own problems within his territory. What we are moving towards is that Mozambique will receive special training from its Portuguese and American partners, so that its special forces can invest more robustly this month in Cabo Delgado.
Dino Mahtani, Africa Program Manager at ICG, and author of the report
In a statement released on Friday, the refugee chief counted nearly 3,000 dead and 800,000 people fleeing the violence from the group now supported by the Islamic State.