Botswana sent military troops to Mozambique on Monday, becoming the first country of the 16-nation Southern African Development Community to dispatch soldiers to help battle an Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Cabo Delgado province.
Botswana’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said the troops would work with Mozambique’s armed forces and soldiers sent by other members of the regional bloc, known as SADC, to put down the insurgency in which more than 3,000 people have died since 2017..
Botswana’s troops will join 1,000 soldiers who arrived in Mozambique earlier this month from Rwanda, which is not an SADC member. The Rwandan troops reported to already be in action; local news site Carta de Moçambique said they had killed 30 insurgents last week.
The SADC mission in Mozambique will be led by South African Maj. Gen. Xolani Mankayi, who is in Mozambique as part of an advance deployment.