How Far will South Africa be Pulled in to Mozambique?

pick your battles, or others will do it for you

As we first pointed out here last August, Mozambique needs to be in your scan.

Though we may be pulling back from engaging with global Islamic extremism, it is not pulling back from the world. 

Especially on the African front of the bleeding edge of Dar al-Islam, they are pressing wherever opportunities reveal themselves.

The problem in Mozambique is reaching the point that the regional power, South Africa, may get involved.

South Africa will press for urgent military action by regional body SADC to quell an Islamist insurgency in Mozambique threatening to destabilize neighbouring countries, the foreign minister said on Friday.

It will make this call at a summit of the Southern African Development Community's 16 member states next week, Naledi Pandor told Reuters in a telephone interview.

SADC leaders have been discussing how to tackle the insurgency by Islamic State-linked militants, with an option for force, but this is the first time South Africa has explicitly thrown its weight behind the idea of a military intervention.

Since 2008, SADC has had provision for a standby brigade, part of a regional defence pact that allows military intervention to prevent the spread of conflict.

That was from last month. After the meeting, as reported at the end of last week, things seem closer;

President Cyril Ramaphosa says Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are prepared to assist Mozambique to fight the insurgency that has destabilised the north of that country. He says leaders of the region are dealing with the situation because if they don’t, the conflict could spill over into their own countries.

Ramaphosa says the SADC Troika has sent technical experts to the troubled Cabo Delgado province to assess Mozambique’s needs in the area.

Ramaphosa, however, would not say what steps are going to be taken.

“You don’t want to be involved in a war situation and tell your adversary that we are coming, get ready for us. You don’t want to do that. I know that the media is interested. When are you going to send boots on the ground? When are you flying over? I am afraid you just have to bear with us. That’s the type of sensitive information that we’ll have to keep quiet about.”

There is a lot of ruin in a nation, and RSA is still consuming a lot of the wealth and civic structures from the apartheid era. The ANC is not as bad as it was thought it would be in government, but it is not good. It isn't in much of a position to do a lot in Mozambique ... but something must be done. 

Another basket case like Zimbabwe on its border will do no good for South Africa - already having ethnic strife from economic refugees. Delicate is a nice way of putting things.

Keep Mozambique in your scan.