President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that up to 1,500 members of the South African National Defense Force would be deployed in Mozambique made no mention of the equipment that would accompany them. Now images have emerged of armored vehicles, ships and other vehicles supporting the South African contingent.
Videos circulating on social media showed convoys of vehicles in Mozambique, including Casspir armored personnel carriers, Mfezi armored ambulances, Toyota Land Cruisers equipped with what appear to be anti-aircraft artillery, Samil trucks, tankers and bakkies. A filmed convoy included more than a dozen vehicles.
The vehicles, believed to belong to the 43rd SA Brigade, were first seen crossing the Ressano Garcia border post in Komatipoort on Saturday July 31.
In addition to vehicles on land, warships arrived in Pemba over the weekend. The offshore patrol vessel SAS Makhanda of the SA Navy was seen alongside Mozambican navy ships and will be part of the maritime contingent of the intervention brigade of the Southern African Development Community (SADC Mission in Mozambique). South African Navy patrol vessels are no stranger to Mozambican waters, having undertaken a number of patrols in the Mozambique Channel as part of Operation Copper.
In the air, the South African Air Force’s C-130BZ Hercules transports fly between Waterkloof Air Base and Pemba. They were first seen delivering South African Special Forces and their Hornet vehicles in mid-July. At least one Cessna Caravan is based in Pemba – it can be fitted with the Koiler Observation System for surveillance flights.
Major General Xolani Mankayi, former commander of the 43rd SA Brigade, has been appointed force commander of the SADC Intervention Brigade, with a Botswana general serving as second in command.
On July 26, Botswana officially sent 300 troops to Mozambique as part of its contribution to the SADC force while South Africa authorized the deployment of up to 1,495 members of the National Defense Force South. -African in Mozambique between July 15 and October 15. Forward elements from South Africa and Botswana arrived in Mozambique in mid-July.
Botswana Defense Force (BDF) vehicles were seen passing through Gondola, Mozambique on July 31. One of the convoys captured on video revealed two dozen vehicles, including trucks and armored vehicles carried on low-loaders – though hidden by camouflage netting, they are likely Mowag Piranha 8 × armored vehicles. 8. The trucks included MAN TG 4x4s as well as water / fuel tankers, recovery vehicles, etc.
Angola announced last week that it had approved a contingent for Mozambique for three months. The contingent of 30 people will leave on August 6. Zimbabwe will send 304 troops to help train the Mozambican security forces while Rwanda, a non-SADC member, has sent 1,000 troops under a separate bilateral agreement.
South Africa’s deployment to Mozambique will cost R 984 million, according to a presidential letter dated July 23. According to the letter, the South African military contingent is in Mozambique to fulfill an international obligation to the Southern African Development Community to support Mozambique in the fight against acts of terrorism and violent extremism in the province. by Cabo Delgado.
Jasmine Opperman, analyst at the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), told the eNCA that SANDF’s three-month deployment won’t even be close enough to make a difference. “To make a difference in Cabo Delgado, three months is not enough. We envision … a two to three year presence to create stability to enable development, to enable humanitarian support … a three month deployment will only favor the insurgents, who will take advantage of their propaganda voice through the Islamic State and exhibit simply our soldiers in a hasty engagement on the battlefield.
Defense expert Helmoed Heitman echoed similar sentiments, telling Cape Talk that “three months is not enough… It takes a long time. There is no miracle solution. He said South Africa should have already deployed forces in Mozambique last year because “it is in our interest that no country in the neighborhood collapses … In our own interest, we would like the Mozambique is stable and prosperous ”.