Zanu PF Unfazed By Rwanda’s Military Deployment In Moza

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By Leopold Munhende

THE Zanu PF government says is not concerned by the deployment of Rwanda armed forces to Mozambique’s troubled Cabo Delgado region.

Last week, Rwanda President Paul Kagame deployed a 1 000 strong armed force to assist Mozambican troops in that country’s war-torn northern province.

The deployment was made at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron, who asked Mozambique President Felipe Nyusi to request Kagame for troops to secure France’s multi-billion dollar investments in the liquified gas in the area.

However, the duty to prop up Mozambique’s defence was done without any consultation with the  Southern African Development Committee (SADC). Rwanda is not a member of SADC.

SADC was expected to send off its regional defence force this Thursday.

However, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said the deployment was discussed by the party’s Politburo Wednesday and it was agreed that Mozambique was a sovereign country able to enter into agreements with any country without the involvement of SADC.

“The position was clarified and the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) and the Politburo agreed that Mozambique was a sovereign republic capable of entering into bilateral agreements with other republics for her security interests as such there is no concern from Zimbabwe on that deployment,” he said.

“Foreign Affairs Minister Frederick Shava gave a brief report on Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province and the brief to the Politburo.”

However, Moyo confirmed the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) would also form part of the SADC Standing Force (SADC SF).

“Zimbabwe on its part will be participating fully to help our brothers and sisters in Mozambique to deal with the Cabo Delgado unrest as evidenced by a number of meetings the leadership of SADC has held on the matter.”

However, early this week South Africa Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told state broadcaster SABC the decision by Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi to invite the Rwanda army without consulting his SADC counterparts was “unfortunate.”

Nearly one million people have been displaced since last year, following a dramatic escalation of the conflict Cabo Delgado region.

This represents over one-third of the population of the province, that has suffered from poverty and climate shocks even before the increase of armed violence.

The attack on the town of Palma in March this year alone caused the displacement of over 60,000 people, while thousands are still unaccounted for. Displaced people and communities hosting them face harsh living conditions.