South Africa ready to help insurgency-hit Mozambique, if asked

JOHANNESBURG- South Africa is ready to help insurgency-hit Mozambique with support from its intelligence services or military, but its neighbour would first need to request that help, South Africa’s foreign minister said on Wednesday. Insurgents with links to Islamic State have stepped up attacks in Mozambique this year, alarming energy majors developing…

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa is ready to help insurgency-hit Mozambique with support from its intelligence services or military, but its neighbour would first need to request that help, South Africa’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Insurgents with links to Islamic State have stepped up attacks in Mozambique this year, alarming energy majors developing huge natural gas deposits there and governments elsewhere in southern Africa.

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told a parliamentary committee that southern African regional body SADC had asked Mozambique to provide a roadmap on the assistance it might need, which would then be deliberated upon before a course of action was chosen.

“If it is more intelligence support, if it is the South African navy patrolling the coast, if it is assistance from our defence force, we as South Africa stand ready, but we must have that indication from the government of Mozambique,” Pandor said.

“Mozambique is a sovereign country, if it needs assistance from any of us it would ask for it. … But should South Africa be jumping into Mozambique without any request from the country, without any indication as to where it needs help? I’m not sure that we can do that,” she added.

Attacks began in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado in 2017 but have gathered pace this year, with insurgents seizing key towns for brief periods and increasingly hitting military or strategic targets.

“The emergence of conflict in Mozambique is a worrying reversal of the peace that has characterised SADC for many years,” Pandor said. “Mozambique has been engaging with our various countries, and we are all looking at how we might assist them.”

(Reporting by Alexander Winning, Editing by William Maclean)

ANA NEWS WIRE Disclaimer:
The African News Agency (ANA) is a news wire service and therefore subscribes to the highest standards of journalism as it relates to accuracy, fairness and impartiality.
ANA strives to provide accurate, well sourced and reliable information across Text, Images and Video. Where errors do appear, ANA will seek to correct these timeously and transparently.
The ANA platform also contains news and information from third party sources. ANA has sought to procure reliable content from trusted news sources but cannot be held responsible for the accuracy and opinions provided by such sources on the ANA platform or linked sites.
The content provided for on the ANA News Wire platform, both through the ANA news operation and via its third party sources, are for the sole use of authorised subscribers and partners. Unauthorised access to and usage of ANA content will be subject to legal steps. ANA reserves its rights in this regard.
ANA makes every effort to ensure that the website is up and running smoothly at all times, however ANA does not take responsibility for, and will not be held liable for times when the website is temporarily unavailable due to technical issues that are beyond our control.