By: Dr David Himbara
South Africa’s defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has dropped a bombshell. She revealed that the SADC standby force that was given the mandate to recapture the territory overran by Mozambican rebels is unable to enter Mozambique. President Filip Nyusi has yet to give the South African-led SADC standby force an official clearance to enter Mozambique. Yet, Rwanda’s military which was expected to deploy under the SADC mandate is already on the battlefield.
General Paul Kagame’s 1,000 soldiers are already on the battlefield of Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique. Meanwhile, the standby force from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that was to lead the battle against the Mozambican rebels has yet to enter Mozambique. The Mozambican authorities have stalled in giving the SADC standby force an official clearance for the deployment. South Africa which was assigned by SADC to head the military effort in Mozambique is baffled by the developments. This was revealed by South Africa’s defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in an interview with South Africa Broadcasting Service (SABC).
Mapisa-Nqakula described Rwanda’s deployment in Mozambique ahead of SADC as “unfortunate” because it was expected that Rwanda would operate under the SADC mandate. So, how did Kagame seize the leading role from South Africa and SADC? Stay tuned.