Southern African soldiers,Southern African countries are preparing to send soldiers to Mozambique

Southern African countries are preparing to send soldiers to Mozambique

Southern African countries agreed on Wednesday to send troops to northern Mozambique to assist stop a deadly jihadist insurgency that has wreaked devastation for the past three years.

At the end of a one-day session, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc “authorized” the deployment of the “SADC Standby Force in support of Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado,” according to the group’s executive secretary Stergomena Tax. She didn’t say how many people will be deployed or when it would happen.

Insurgents have taken control of cities and villages in Cabo Delgado province, causing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate their homes, according to a document leaked earlier this year. Since erupting in late 2017, the violence in Mozambique’s gas-rich north has worsened, raising fears that it will spread to neighboring countries.

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Islamic State-affiliated militants attacked the northern town of Palma on March 24, ransacking buildings and murdering civilians while hundreds fled into the nearby woodlands.

According to the United Nations, the assault signaled an increase in violence that has forced approximately 800,000 people from their homes and claimed the lives of over 2,800 individuals, half of whom were civilians.

Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe were among the countries represented in the Maputo discussions.