Over the past few weeks, military forces belonging to members of the South African Development Community have started to arrive in Mozambique as part of the mission to help combat the ongoing insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province.

The forces will form part of a regional standby force which will be assisting the local Mozambique forces in their mission. A large part of the mission will be conducting reconnaise & gathering intelligence in the region 


This article was submitted to the UK Defence Journal by ‘Intel Air & Sea‘, they can be found here. If you would like to submit your own article on this topic or any other, please see our submission guidelines


So far at the time of this article, the forces which have been visibly confirmed in Mozambique are South Africa, Rwanda & Botswana. With Zimbabwe due to deploy 300+ forces shortly &, Angola said to have sent 20 officers earlier this week onboard an transport aircraft. Although no photographs exist so far of Angolan forces in the country. Tanzania has also confirmed they will be deploying forces according to the Mozambique government.

Although we are yet to see any Tanzanian forces in the country. 

Rwandan forces were the first to arrive in Mozambique earlier this month by sending 1,000 soldiers with RwandAir providing transport for the soldiers. Since their arrival, the Rwandan Ministry of Defence has confirmed their forces have been involved in engagements with the insurgents. The Rwandan forces are not part of the SADC but have entered an agreement with the government of Mozambique to conduct combat operations, they will still be working alongside both the SADC members & Mozambique.

South African special forces arrived in the country earlier this month with the South African Air Force flying special forces via a C-130 equipped with Hornet Rapid Deployment Reconnaissance vehicles. 

On 01/08/2021 the South Africa National Defence force was also filmed entering Mozambique with their mechanized brigade featuring Casspir APCs. 

Currently the main objective of the South African forces & the wider SADC is not to engage the insurgents directly, they are to focus on the reconnaissance aspect of the deployment.

There exists the potential for a greater number of forces from the SADC members to be deployed but at the current time this seems unlikely. The total number of South African forces that can be committed to operations in Mozambique is 1,495 with the deployment lasting until 15th October. 

The initial group of forces from Botswana arrived in Mozambique on 25/07/2021. They were photographed deploying with UK-manufactured Jankel Fox RRV’s. On 31/07/2021 Botswana had also been seen deploying forces via land entering Mozambique via Zimbabwe.

The convoy sent by Botswana included troop carriers, Piranha 8×8 APC, MAN TG Mil 4×4 satcom facility along other logistics. 

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 day ago

Where’s geoff for comment? Our “SA Correspondent”  😀 

Are this lot like Al Shabab & Boko Haram or do they have another issue?

Dern
Dern
1 day ago

tbf Al Shabab and West African IS (Boko Haram) are pretty different movements anyway.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 hours ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi Dern. Yes, I know, I did not mean to imply they were joined or the same.

Dern
Dern
2 hours ago

Didn’t think you where Daniele,
I was more pointing out that their aims and objectives are actually quite different. Al-Shabab is a nationalist Islamic movement, their objective is to take control of Somalia and run it according to their beliefs, while WA-IS is international and hopes to create a caliphate in West Africa/a single Muslim Caliphate.
Cheers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 hour ago
Reply to  Dern

Amazing sometimes how words can be misread. Gotcha mate.
Cheers.

farouk
farouk
1 day ago

The situation in Mozambique is most interesting in that last Nov there was a court case regards the interception of a boat in the area in December 2019 which at the time was presumed to be a drug smuggling operation where the 15 people on board sank the boat by setting fire to it, and rammed the Navy boat rather than let the authorities capture it. The fire not only sank the boat it also killed 3 of the men who all turned out to be…Iranians. Unfortunately for them one of them held onto his phone and when it was examined… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 day ago
Reply to  farouk

Thanks for this, farouk.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 day ago
Reply to  farouk

Many thanks farouk. Another ‘front’ in the war on the west.

geoff
geoff
1 day ago

Hello Daniele! Our army was criticized for it’s late response to the recent domestic unrest here in KZN and Gauteng. The then Defence Minister has been fired and the SANDF is now on station and standby at key points and dispersed camps ready to respond if any repeat occurs. If we hadn’t already committed to sending troops to Mozambique we probably would have opted out of the joint force as these men are needed back home and the Country including its aArmed Forces are cash strapped!!. It’s amazing how such a relatively small band of Islamists was able to cause… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
18 hours ago
Reply to  geoff

The SADF did used to be the stalwart professionals in the region and were equipped accordingly. There are a number of factors IMHO which have contributed to the reduction of capability, two of which are linked, corruption and politics (one leads to the other) and which reduces effective funding. When I was with 44 in Bloem, it was leading edge with both the skills, experience and equipment available (but even then we did notice funding was reducing as it was hard to get airframes in the air for a lob). But I have great respect for the lads and lasses… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
15 hours ago
Reply to  Airborne

Hello Airborne. As an ex SAAF member , it’s disappointing to see what the SADF has been reduced to. Apart from the underfunding, I think strong leadership, clear purpose, and a lack of pride have cascaded through the ranks. I imagine moral must be poor.

Given your reference to 44 brigade, you were no doubt a “meat bomb: What the air fore used to call paras, all in good humour with due resect to the parabats. Thank you for your service.

Airborne
Airborne
3 hours ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Mate I loved it there, and thanks for your kind words, respect.

geoff
geoff
7 hours ago
Reply to  Airborne

Hi Airborne-nice to hear from you. I thing there is still a strong residue of good in the SANDF despite social media concentrating on some of their more embarrassing moments-overweight senior officers on a Right turn command turning to face each other etc😂, but your take is spot on. With regards to the Centurion, SA became very adept at altering and adapting older equipment and later developing indigenous new hardware-world beating artillery pieces,Roivalk Helos, the Cheetah version of the Mirage etc but the masters were the Rhodesians whose ingenuity in the face of isolation knew no bounds and including keeping… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
3 hours ago
Reply to  geoff

Spot on, the ability to produce home grown versions of requried assets was a strong point for your lads and defence industry. But dont worry, stupidty is universal and we did, still do, have some clowns in positions of authority promoted way past their capbaility in all 3 services…..take care mate.

David
David
2 hours ago
Reply to  Airborne

My brother worked on the plains building houses for several years and would send back a monthly mil magazine – the saffers produced some amazing kit and as mentioned their ingenuity was amazing. Historically, we should remember the 1st and 2nd SA army divisions that fought by our side in Africa and I hope the RN will visit Simonstown one day soon to renew ties and remember the 300+ SA naval forces who gave their lives, finally, it would be worthy to remember Sailor Malan and all his colleagues https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_War_II_aces_from_South_Africa Just a glimpse of how much the UK owes SA…… Read more »

geoff
geoff
48 minutes ago
Reply to  David

Hi David. Sailor Malan was one famous man played by a favourite actor in the Battle of Britain-Robert Shaw. Another was Edwin Swales VC who attended the Durban High School where I matriculated in 1966, and of course we must not forget Ian Douglas Smith pilot in the RAF (who was badly injured when his aircraft crashed in the Middle east) from our Rhodesian neighbours who were very close to South Africans and, inter alia had the same accent among English speakers-even I battle to detect any difference even having lived in both countries!! Lots of good men and women… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
33 minutes ago
Reply to  geoff

Not just the empire. On embankment all their names are remembered and rightly so; they gave their lives that we could live ours and among my Russian students some were less than pleased that I had a different narative to Putin… the truth hurts, I guess.

So, as well as the Commonwealth pilots, I’d like to remember the Slovak, Czech and Polish pilots. Boh žehnaj.

geoff
geoff
21 minutes ago
Reply to  David Barry

Of course 100% David. Many other nations contributed to the fight against the Nazis and i meant no disrespect in not mentioning-forgive me, I was focusing on the commonwealth. Many of their relatives and descendants settled in the UK. Our neighbours in London included a Mrs. Kosiba who praised her British home for giving them refuge and here in SA I had two Scots friend with Polish surnames from marriages to Poles who had fought with the Brits in WW2. All brave people

David Barry
David Barry
6 minutes ago
Reply to  geoff

I never thought for once that you did! I’ve taught military English to over 80 Slovak officers – some of whom were loaned to the Soviets in Afghanistan, Judges of the Czech Republic and many, many Latvian senior Civil Servants. They had one thing in common: freedom. A cause most Latvian women would die for rather than joining their male folk rowing across the Baltic to Sweden… 😉 However, 20 years back I met two Slovak BOB pilots at the Slovak Embassy in London… I’ve worn green but I was humbled in their company. Any BOB member needs to be… Read more »

geoff
geoff
1 hour ago
Reply to  Airborne

You too my friend

Klonkie
Klonkie
15 hours ago
Reply to  geoff

Greetings Geoff. Good to see the SADF step up here. The armed forces have a good record of assisting their neighbours. In the Zaire conflict, the SANDF have been part of the UN effort.

It’s really sad to see history repeat as we go round and round. Rhodesia in the 70’s, South Africa SWA in the 80s. It never stops.

geoff
geoff
7 hours ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Howsit Klonkie-sad indeed and the great tragedy is that if SA was able to get their house in order for all its folk,people would be queuing up to live here-such a wonderful country-damaged by Zuma and co including the sinister Niehaus.-truly a small band of the most evil humans on the planet.We took a knock here last month but amazing how people of all colours banded together to protect properties and our local shopping centres. Also-amazing how one stereotype was shattered. The local Muslim Community were outstanding-distributing hot food to the likes of poor cold 72 year old geoff (38… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
5 hours ago
Reply to  geoff

Glad things have calmed down Geoff . I take it you didn’t manage to scroe a free Defy fridge then! Stay safe and enjoy the Durbs sunshine!

geoff
geoff
4 hours ago
Reply to  Klonkie

😂😂.. not even a stick of Biltong Klonkie. The natives had scaled the lot by the time I got there!!

Challenger
Challenger
1 day ago

This is ideally how these sorts of security assistance and counter insurgency operations should be shaped – the more stable and experienced nations within a region helping their neighbouring states instead of Western powers deploying into a part of the world they barely understand and with all the animosities and accusations of neo-colonialism.

Surely in somewhere like Mali for instance an achievable goal would be for France and the UK to train/equip and support regional ground forces from places like Chad, Ghana, Ivory Coast etc at a distance.

Karl
Karl
22 hours ago
Reply to  Challenger

Sorry but the cynic in me, having seen it first hand in a few places says no. You can train all you like, give the best equipment and lots of money. It ends up like The Gan now. Many societies are too mired in corruption, ethnic and tribal history comes into play. Look at the mess we created in Libya just as one example. The only place I saw “influence” work to good effect was in Oman. We should keep our noses out. Full stop.

Challenger
Challenger
20 hours ago
Reply to  Karl

There are obviously a lot of complexities and nuances but broadly speaking i’d say what recent history shows us is wholesale ousting one government or group in favour of setting up a new one with only partial popular support (Iraq & Afghanistan) costs a lot of blood/treasure and is almost certainly doomed to fail, whereas supporting an existing government in dealing with fringe insurgencies, deterring aggression on a boarder or stabalising a turbulent political situation can work (Oman in the 70’s,the Malaysia vs Indonesia confrontation, Sierra Leone, Kosovo and East Timor more recently) so long as we have the support… Read more »

dan
dan
18 hours ago
Reply to  Karl

Agreed. The West thinks they always know what’s best for everyone else based on Western cultural norms. Are we better off with Iran being run by radical clerics than we were when it was run by the Shah? No. Same with Libya. Look how much money, men, ect we wasted in Afghanistan trying to force Western norms on them. In the end it failed. Iraq isn’t much better either. The list goes on and on. Unfortunately we will never learn…..

Mike
Mike
18 hours ago
Reply to  dan

Well said!

David Barry
David Barry
32 seconds ago
Reply to  Karl

I think Sierra Leone was a win. Happy to be corrected.

Oh and my old Regiment stood up SAS? Nope, the Royal Irish Rangers.

Of course, danger is no stranger to a Ranger. FAB