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Is South Africa Fiddling While Mozambique Burns From ISIS?


South Africa’s neighbour, trade partner, and former safe haven for exiles, Mozambique needs help. Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah, an ISIS (Islamic State) army is slaughtering people. The fighting is taking place in the Cabo Delgado Province. Additionally, both Zimbabwe and South Africa were asked for help several months ago.

South Africa’s response is unclear

People die in a cruel and appalling manner. Mozambique struggles to put a stop to the slaughter. They employed a private army to assist them. Ultimately, they need the firepower of South Africa’s Defence Forces. The private army is run by Colonel Dyck, who spoke of the horror being unleashed on poor farmers in the area. In an interview with Africa Unauthorised,  he says he saw horrific atrocities. “… unlike anything, I have seen before and I’ve seen a lot of wars in a lot of different places.” Dyck is a former member of the Rhodesian forces who later trained members of the Zimbabwean army.

South Africa Parliament gives vague response to questions about ISIS threat

South Africa sits between a rock and a hard place on this issue. Firstly, there is a debt of obligation to Mozambique for harbouring exiles during Apartheid. Secondly, Mozambique is part of the Southern African Development Community. Thirdly, the area under attack is one where South African companies invest in gas resources. Fourthly, ISIS issued a public warning to South Africa not to interfere in Mozambique. Importantly, they went on to threaten destabilization within South Africa’s borders. Isn’t that technically a declaration of war?

According to News 24, the matter is being discussed in defence committee meetings. Additionally, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakuls issued a vague response to questions. “Defence Intelligence can confirm that there is an increase of Islamic insurgency activities currently in the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique … [there is] potential to spread to other provinces and neighbouring Southern African Development Community states,” read Mapisa-Nqakula’s answer.


Colonel Dyck says there is no time to waste

Dyck is working with an old old Allouette helicopter, a couple of armed microlites, and “two Gazelle gun-ships.” He only has thirty well-trained men. He says he struggles to protect the residents whilst training troops in Mozambique. He admits he needs help. Help, which does not appear to come.  President Mnangagwa is too busy using COVID-19 as an excuse to clamp down on protests. Tanzania has a large Muslim population. Subsequently, Tanzania is wringing its hands and doing little to stop the flow of supplies.

Colonel Dyck says this is an African problem that needs to be resolved by Africans. A few British people have made hesitant enquiries but Dyck doesn’t trust them. He says, “I just don’t trust them; they never tell you the whole story and there is always another agenda in play with them. I feel we must go it alone at this stage with the little we have and turn this around. It’s going to be hard but we have to win this.”

South Africa remains hunkered down behind closed doors

One veteran is fighting a lonely battle. He and his thirty men are trying to stop Africans from being slaughtered. He and thirty men are trying to stop the spread of extremist Islam. And, worldwide it doesn’t seem to matter despite the Black Lives Matter movement.

What do you think South Africa should be doing? Staying out of it and bowing to Islamic pressure or stopping this tide now?

Remember to check back with SANs Newsfeed often for more news about Africa.


One comment

  1. Regarding the ISIS situation in northern Mozambique. Personally, I don’t believe that the SANDF has the resources, or adequate training to deal with a well equipped and fanatical terrorist organisation such as Al Sunnah. Linked to poor training, the SANDF also lacks the discipline required of an army. Their record in the DRC confirmns this.


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