Mozambique: Prez Ramaphosa meets SADC troops amid struggle to raise funds for their deployments

Mozambican President ‘Filipe Nyusi’ invited President ‘Cyril Ramaphosa’ on 53rd memorial of the assassination of Frelimo’s founding President, Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane, on February 3, Thursday.

Meanwhile, they discussed the ties between the two nations. At the same time, President Ramaphosa said, “The solidarity and friendship between our freedom movements continue to inspire us to work harder for our people in search for our shared vision for the SADC region and the African continent.”

He also met with the military coups from the SADC Mission in Mozambique in his capacity as a chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Security Cooperation, and Defence.

In January, the SADC met to expand the installation of the troops, which will begin to come into force in July 2021. However, Rwanda had already deployed its defence force in Mozambique a month before in a parallel effort. The military coups are fighting Islamic rebels in Mozambique’s northernmost region of Cabo Delgado.

There is little coordination between the two installations, and the matter has caused conflict between Mozambique and the SADC and within Mozambique itself.

In the meeting of Addis Ababa, which was held on Monday, the matter of concern at the conference was the “funding for the mission for the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC).

Moreover, this is the first time that the PSC has discussed the situation in Cabo Delgado since the revolution started in 2017. However, the PSC has yet to state the meeting outcome, and even the press conference was also postponed and now held on Thursday.

The head of the political department, “Bankole Adeoye”, welcomed Rwanda support of Mozambique.

As per the briefing note by Amani Africa, consider at least three funding and logistical support options.

The first option is to use the African Peace Facility’s (APF) Early Response Mechanism (ERM), an European Union start-up worth €55-million that delivers the AU and regional communities, such as SADC, with funds that are instantly available for the management or prevention of violent crises. In contrast, the purchase of dangerous military equipment, such as bullets and arms, is not permitted under the ERM.

The second option is the new European Peace Facility, which substituted the APF in 2021. However, the financial tool does not allow the purchase of dangerous military equipment.

The third and the last option is to use the Continental Logistics Base in Douala, Cameroon, which was inaugurated in 2018-2019, almost four years ago and has been providing types of equipment to a member of states in which Niger, Burkina Faso and South Sudan included.

Moreover, SADC is currently using its own money to obtain its implementation, hailed by leaders at last month’s summit as “a unique precedent for the African continent.” Understandably, some SADC countries want to resume finding funds for Samim locally.

However, there are so many obstacles the country is facing, and last month, Finance Minister Thabo Sophonea said that the country military might need to withdraw from Samim because the authorities do not have sufficient money to pay the soldiers allowances in Mozambique or even for the food of soldiers.

Meanwhile, the Rwanda deployment is demanding funds from the European Union directly, which is seeking to pay the support directly from the European Peace Facility.