The military force of the South African Development Community was due to arrive in the province of Cabo Delgado on Thursday, plagued by a jihadist uprising, at the official request of Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi, but it never arrived.
As expected yesterday, SADC has finally postponed the dispatch of its troops to Mozambique. According to experts, South Africa would not have appreciated staying by Rwandan troops, arrived earlier this week following an agreement between the two countries.
A presence that ended in secret and that irritates Johannesburg, especially since Kigali is not one of the countries in southern Africa.
Rwandan soldiers are primarily deployed to secure important liquefied natural gas sites, with the aim, according to analysts, of attracting investors again, intimidated by deadly attacks, such as the much-publicized one. in March in Palma.
However, the Maputo agreement for the arrival of troops from SADC countries is a first, because so far President Filipe Nyusi had always refused it. “It’s a matter of sovereignty,” he said a few weeks ago. A refusal, which according to his opponent was a way for him to avoid any investigation into illegal activities in the province of Cabo Delgado, which would have involved certain elites.
“For several months, President Nyusi has been pressured by the countries of southern Africa to accept military intervention, in order to avoid spilling over into the jihadist uprising. It had become clear that Mozambique had failed to defeat the insurgency. The jihadists still control cities like Mocímboa da Praia and the army is unable to survive. We saw this during the attack on the city of Palma at the end of March. This attack caused the suspension of the gas project piloted by Total with major financial consequences for Maputo, “reminds Iain McDermott, analyst at the consulting company Protection Group International in London.
Weakened by the security crisis in his home region and in the face of the failure of the Russian mercenaries that Maputo recruited to turn the situation around, Nyusi was finally forced to change. “I believe that the military intervention of SADC and the bilateral agreement with Rwanda suggest that the government wants to attract investors again or at least to get Total back,” concludes Iain McDermott.