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Zimbabwe pledges 304 troops for SADC force in Mozambique

Zimbabwe has pledged 304 soldiers to a regional intervention force that has been deployed to assist Mozambique to deal with…

Zimbabwe has pledged 304 soldiers to a regional intervention force that has been deployed to assist Mozambique to deal with a jihadist insurgency in its northern-most region, Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri announced on Thursday.Muchinguri-Kashiri said the Zimbabwean contingent would provide training to the Mozambique Armed Defence Forces and would not be involved in actual combat duties.

“While other countries have to deploy combat troops, Zimbabwe pledged to assist in the training of Mozambique armed forces to enhance their capability to combat terrorism,” the minister told journalists in Harare.

Zimbabwe becomes the third member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to contribute troops to the SADC Standby Force that has been deployed to Mozambique’s troubled Cabo Delgado province.

Other SADC member states that have so far contributed troops are Botswana and South Africa, which have deployed 296 and 1,495 soldiers, respectively. 

Rwanda, a non-SADC member state, has also deployed about 1,000 soldiers to assist Mozambique fight off the insurgents.

Muchinguri-Kashiri revealed that the Zimbabwean contingent would consist of 303 instructors and one specialist officer who would be seconded to the coordinating mechanism of the SADC Standby Force headquarters in Maputo.

She said the troops would be deployed to Mozambique once formalities have been completed as per Zimbabwe’s constitutional obligations.

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