Southern African Leaders Agree on a Military Mission for Mozambique

Southern African Leaders Agree on a Military Mission for Mozambique
Southern African leaders during a meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, to discuss the insurgency in Cabo Delgado, April 8, 2021, April 8, 2021 (AP photo by Ferhat Momade).

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The international militarization of the response to the jihadist insurgency in northern Mozambique is accelerating, as Southern African leaders agreed Wednesday to deploy a regional force to help contain the Islamist extremists. A European Union military mission to support Mozambican troops battling the Islamic State-linked militants could also be approved as early as next month.

The interventions signal mounting international concern that the situation in northern Mozambique, where at least 3,000 people have been killed and 1 million more are in need of food assistance, is at risk of spiraling further out of control. As if to underscore that point, the announcement that the Southern African Development Community, or SADC, would send standby forces to the region was followed by reports of renewed clashes between the militants and Mozambican soldiers outside the key city of Palma.

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