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Mozambique insurgency a wake up call for SADC

05 Apr 2021 at 19:50hrs | Views
The insurgency in Mozambique is a wake-up call to the SADC region. The region has ignored the presence of Islamic State Central Africa Province ISCAP in DRC. The region has also ignored the presence of terrorist cells in Tanzania a member of SADC.

SADC should not be surprised that the insurgency in Mozambique is headed by a Tanzanian. Abu Yasir Hassan.

SADC has ignored the threat assuming that it was a problem limited to East Africa.

The terrorist group wrecking havoc in Cabo Delgado is known as Ansar al-Sunna or Ahl al-Sunna Wa Al-Jamma  ASWJ was formed in 2008 primarily by followers of Sheikh Rogo.

Sheikh Rogo was a Kenyan Muslim cleric who reportedly assisted in the United States embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998, and was later sanctioned by the US and United Nations for providing support to al-Shabaab in Somalia—the group mainly advocated for the formation of an Islamic State in a peaceful manner. But following Rogo's death in 2012, many of his followers reportedly moved to northern Mozambique, where they ensured that a number of mosques in Mocimboa da Praia, a district in Cabo Delgado province, adopted Rogo's interpretation of Islam.

The threat became a reality when Insurgents started attacking police stations and government bases in Mocimboa da Praia.

President Nyusi had limited options to fight extremism. Nyusi is commander in chief of FADM a young army formed in 1994, with little hardware and battle experience.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi faced with a jihadist insurgency in northern Mozambique, he had to engage various private military contractors were keen to participate and some over promised only to under deliver.

Nyusi's first point of call was the Russian Wagner group. President Nyusi engaged Russia's Wagner Group. Wagner made promises but it pulled out of Mozambique, humiliated, defeated with a number of fatalities within their ranks.

When Wagner failed Nyusi turned to the battle hardened war horses of the South African Private Military Contractors fame.

South African mercenaries are famous for their capabilities, they are regarded as some of the best in the world.

Nyusi reached out to South African based Colonel Lionel Dyck's Dyck Advisory Group.

Dyck Advisory Group according to its website has experience in leading operations in the fields of Demining, Explosive Hazard Management, Specialised Security, Canine Services and Counter Poaching. The DAG website does not indicate that the group has any experience in counter terrorism.

 Colonel, Lionel Dyck has an excellent military record he served in the  Rhodesian army and was retained in the Zimbabwean army. Dyck has participated in operations in Mozambique under both the Rhodesian and Zimbabwean army.

Dyck Advisory Group ran a successful rescue mission in Palma, Mozambique. This rescue mission saved valuable human life and the group emerged as the heroes of the day in Palma.

However, a war is brewing between Dyck Advisory group and Executive Outcomes run by Colonel Eeben Barlow.

Most South African mercenaries are often linked to the recently revived private military company Executive Outcomes.

Executive Outcomes has an impressive battle record, it carried out successful operations in Sierra Leone and Angola in the 1990s.

Executive Outcomes is unpopular as it is linked with South Africa's Apartheid-era government. Most of the Executive Outcomes staff were active in controversial covert and counter-insurgency missions as part of the infamous 32 "Buffalo" Battalion.

Eeben Barlow's Executive Outcomes ran into a few problems with governments in Africa and this caused Eeben Barlow to close Executive Outcomes. The battle hardened Eeben Barlow resurfaced under a new outfit which participated in Counter Terrorism operations in Nigeria. Eeben Barlow has had head to head combat with Boko Haram.

Dyck Advisory Group's contract expired recently and the Mozambican government did not renew the DAG contract. There has been a lot of speculation and rumours indicating that Eeben Barlow and Executive Outcomes were on their way to Mozambique.

Eeben Barlow responded to the rumours through a Facebook post which reads :
A lot of mischief has been doing the rounds on social media stating as fact that myself/Executive Outcomes are en route to Mozambique, or that an agreement has been reached between EO and company x' or 'person y' to jointly cooperate in Mozambique. Of course, none of this is true.

Instead, it appears to be a concerted and devious attempt to intimate that EO is trying to 'steal Dyke Advisory Group's (DAG) contract.

Sadly, this type of mischief is typical of a very toxic industry littered with companies that have proven track records of failure. Those in the know will confirm that, despite my disbelief at a counter-poaching company being contracted to fight an insurgency,

I suggested that DAG should remain in place as they act as a buffer. And according to reports, they rescued a lot of people when Palma was overrun, something I applaud them for.

However, the source of the 'Mozambican disinformation is well known to me but for now, I will give him the rope to hang himself. Suffice to say, he is nothing but a bitter and twisted person. I certainly have no intention of defending myself or EO against lies and slander-I have been down that road before. Whereas the first warnings to Mozambique were issued in 2016 already, it was for that government to decide if notice was to be taken of those warnings. Warnings about a force buildup near Palma were likewise issued. If the Government of Mozambique elect to ignore Credible intelligence, then so be it. (Those who may have read my book The War for Africa will find the sequence of events surrounding Mozambique and how and what transpired, and when).

However, the conflict in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province ought to be provide some very valuable lessons for not only South Africa, but for several other countries as well.

My conclusionis that SADC needs to engage South African Private Military Contractors to advise on and implement a SADC counter terrorism strategy. Religious extremism is now in SADC and the region needs to be proactive to preserve the peace and stability which have been the region's competitive advantage over other parts of the continent.

Eeben Barlow and Executive Outcomes are important in the fight against terrorism. Dyck Advisory Group are also important and the region needs to harness and tap into the resources, skills and capabilities of all available entities in the counter terrorism fight.

Deploying boots in Mozambique is not enough to fight terrorism, the region needs to do more and the region cannot copy the US Counter terrorism strategy as it has made a mess of things in the middle east. SADC needs an African solution, crafted and implemented by Africans. Eeben Barlow and Lionel Dyck need to set aside their professional differences and provide leadership to the Counter Terrorism fight in SADC.

Silent Fox
Security Analyst

Source - Silent Fox
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