Southern Africa: Regional Leaders to Meet Again in Maputo On Wednesday to Decide On Military Force in Mozambique

Mozambican troops have been battling militants in Cabo Delgado since 2017.
analysis

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi is widely believed still to be opposed to Southern African Development Community intervention.

Regional leaders will meet in a full summit in Maputo on Wednesday once again to try to decide if they should send a military force into Mozambique to tackle a growing Islamic State-linked insurgency there.

It will be the third time in a matter of weeks that the 16-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) will attempt to reach this crucial decision. Agreement has so far eluded them, mainly, it seems, because the Mozambique government is reluctant to allow a proposed regional force on its soil.

There is still no clarity on Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi's thinking on a regional military intervention, though most commentators and analysts believe he remains reluctant.

SADC and Mozambique have been batting the idea around for about a year. The issue came to a head after a major assault by the insurgents on the coastal town of Palma in Mozambique's northernmost Cabo Delgado province at the end of March. That forced the French energy giant Total to suspend its vast liquid natural gas project at nearby Afungi.

It also jolted SADC into action. In April, SADC military officials visited...

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